I am French, born in Lyon. Lyon is the capital of gastronomy in Europe.
I gained my bachelor’s degree in the International Hospitality Management at Vatel Business school in Lyon. The first Vatel School opened in Paris with a unique and fundamental educational method: having theoretical courses followed by a professional experience using what had been learned in class. Vatel now owns 50 Schools, with 9,000 students and 35,000 alumni who resemble a proof of the high-quality teaching, making it the 1st worldwide business school group in hospitality and tourism management sector. Last year, Vatel opened its 50th campus in the Kingdom of Bahrain and has been, unsurprisingly, awarded the Best Program in “Hospitality & Tourism” in the Gulf region by Forbes Middle East in 2019.
After graduating from Vatel, I moved to Paris to study my MBA in international hotel & restaurant management at the AIM (Académie Internationale de Management). This intensive and demanding higher education program, which is taught in English, provides students with a wide-range choice from far-reaching career prospects. Over the two-year period, students acquire the necessary knowledge and expertise to equip them for management roles in the hospitality and tourism sector.
During my 5 years of study, I had the opportunity to perform two internships in Shanghai, China. The first one was dedicated to Food & Beverage. I was working full-time at the restaurant of Wyndham Grand Hotel in Shanghai. I trained my Chinese colleagues on the French standards of service and shared my experience of French know-how when it comes to hospitality. It was an amazing cultural immersion and I decided to go back to China two years later to perform my second internship.
During my second internship, I worked as a sales and marketing trainee for the Hyatt Hotel Group. I was in charge of the government segment and was doing daily sales’ calls to the foreign embassies & consulates in Shanghai. It was my first experience of dealing with corporate and executives’ clients. I have learnt a lot during this internship.
While studying, I used my vacation time as an opportunity to enhance my working experience. I had the opportunity to work over summer at the Hôtel Sezz in Saint-Tropez, South of France as Asst. Maître d’hôtel in the restaurant. It was a great chance to learn the high-end restaurant standards and to serve demanding leisure guests. Beside this summer job, I had in addition the chance to work for Pierre Hermé, the “Picasso of Pastry”. I work in one of his Boutique to sell his world-famous Macarons during the end-of-the-year holidays, which encouraged me to start thinking of opening my own pastry & coffee shop.
After graduating with my MBA, I moved to Dubai to work as a sales & marketing executive at the Grand Hyatt Dubai. Career-wise (honestly,), it was a challenging and learning atmosphere but personal-wise, where I found out that it was not a suitable lifestyle. I decided to go back to my hometown in Lyon and found a job as sales manager for the Apart Hotel Group. I gladly met my husband from Bahrain and then decided to follow him and settle in Bahrain.
In Bahrain, I discovered that there was an amazing support entity for entrepreneurs, called Tamkeen, and with a group of co-owners, we decided to create our own project. I was one of the founders of Café Chantilly located in Saar. As my first entrepreneurship experience in Bahrain, I gained a strong expertise on running a successful outlet in Bahrain.
In the meantime, I also fully supported the opening of the Vatel Business School in Bahrain in October 2018. I was really proud and excited to know that Vatel will open its 50th campus in Bahrain, under the patronage of the Bahrain Tourism Exhibitions Authority (BTEA). How many chances that my school will open a campus where I am actually living in? Such a lucky coincidence. I have joined Vatel as the internship and corporate relations manager and I created all the partnerships between the hotels and the schools. I also gave classes on hotel management to the students. It was a rich and empowering experience, especially the creation of contact network with the young Bahraini students.
I quitted my full-time function at Vatel in July 2019 to fully focus on my new entrepreneurship project, Café Ségo, which opened in October 2019 in the busy district of Diplomatic area. Café Ségo is an authentic French café, operating 24hrs and serving specialty coffee, pastries, bakeries and light meals.
I also founded a new company “French Food W.L.L”. Through this company, I am importing green coffee beans and roast them locally in Bahrain in my roasting room, next to Café Ségo. I am always focusing on serving the best to my customers and roasting locally is the best way to serve the freshest and tastiest coffee. For the tea, I am dealing with the First tea company that has imported tea in France in 1848, “Compagnie Coloniale”.
To be continued…