With reporting from Navin Sam
Maya chocolate cafes in Qatar are set to be rebranded after its Bahrain-based owner has announced plans to cut ties with affiliated shops here and in several other Arab countries.
BTC formerly represented Maya cafes in Doha, as well as in the UAE, Jordan, Lebanon and Oman.
Qatar’s first Maya chocolate shop opened at Landmark in 2009. Since then, it’s been consistently rated as one of the best dessert places in town.
In the statement, TLC managing director Hamad Janahi said:
“We are confident that the termination came at the best interest for the Maya La Chocolaterie brand. This presents us the opportunity of re-entering these markets under new management and ownership.”
He added that operations in Qatar, UAE and Jordan have been closed until further notice.
However, Maya cafes at Villaggio and Landmark malls continue to remain open to serve customers.
Business almost as usual
No one at BTC in Qatar was available for comment.
But speaking to Doha News, employees said the main difference is that they are now just coffee shops, and can no longer use the Maya name or sell Maya-branded chocolates or other merchandise.
At the Villaggio Mall branch on Thursday, all Maya signage appeared to be removed, but some chocolates could be observed on display.
Customers there told Doha News that they were not aware that the franchise was in the process of changing hands, and that business appeared to be operating as normal.
Asked if they would continue patronizing the cafe if it was called by any other name, one woman said no, while a male customer said, “Yeah, I don’t mind coming back because it still is delicious.”