On the 60th Anniversary of the Opera cake, We interacted with the C.E.O of L’Opera which is a premium brand in the Patisserie business . Here is a Small discussion with the C.E.O and here are the excerpts we had in a Telephonic Interview with the man himself :-
Team Capers Rouge: Opera (Cake) turning 60 , and still being so popular and so loved, What do you think is the reason behind the Love and Appreciation. What is your Success Mantra?
Mr. Kazem: The Company “L’Opera” is much Younger. But this cake was created 60 years ago in 1965. I believe the Success of the cake is because of the unique combination of Coffee and Chocolate and also the technique of Baking pastry’s that has allowed us to you add much better, much purer raw materials with refined consistency. And also bringing up the minute details of the taste in each and every meal in every decade.
Team Capers Rouge: What are your future plans for growth in India?
Mr. Kazem: We have a 5 Year Plan that we would like to take forward with our 11 to 12 outlets converting them to over 100 outlets in India (In the Metropolitan Cities).
Team Capers Rouge: How different is the Indian Market Vis a Vis the other International Markets L’Opera operates in?
Mr. Kazem: The Indian Market is terrorized by the set prolong cultural sweets and pastries, but those are the Indian sweets and Pastries which are beautiful. The challenge we had was to popularize and to reach to a large population with different type of products which need a French Pastries. The challenge was the patience we needed to have and to educate the Indian Market and to bring home the chased and the new products. Our efforts were rewarded with success when people appreciated our high quality.
Team Capers Rouge: Did You Have to Change/ Alter the Menu to cater better to the Indian Market?
Mr. Kazem: This is a very Good Question… I must confess that we resisted the temptation of making Indian version of French products. We always had a picture Say For eg. that people here always liked Muffins, but we never find muffins in all shops or you do not try it everywhere. So, I must confess that we resisted the temptation for Indianizing tact for that. So our French products today are still absolutely 100% the best you can taste without any difference.
Team Capers Rouge: Being a third world Country, why was India chosen as an expansion market when you decided to step afoot in this Country?
Mr. Kazem: You know I wouldn’t call India a Third world country (Laughs…). Perhaps that’s a false vocabulary of the World but India is a Diverse country as we all know… since it has a satellite industry, It has a good advanced technology. We see India as a land of opportunities which is very very fast growing and you have all the segments of the society where people are traveling , people are discovering the rest of the world and obviously it comes in a very very Developed Market. So we as Pioneers would choose Indian market!
Team Capers Rouge: What are the “Must Try” items on the Menu at L’Opera that a good connoisseur should not miss?
Mr. Kazem: Well there are some items that are very very very French. In Pastry’s , Well L’Opera has chocolate cakes and a main product called “Mille Feuille“. So we preferred a different kind of a different layered, frothy pastry cream which is very very French. So in the Chocolate items I would say Truffon. And obviously one thing that makes France very very special is the Croissant and the Chocolate Croissant… and we assure you of the quality that we are serving here in India. because we’ve got a special flour, special butter that comes from France. So the Products that are a MUST TRY…
Team Capers Rouge: How Difficult or Easy was it to get Established in India?
Mr. Kazem: That’s a question I get very often… I believe I would not say that starting anything in India is easy. It takes longer to get established. It challenging to take care of your quality and being able to operate in long term. It’s the fifth year of our operation and our factory , our outlets are still as fresh like we just started yesterday. So we had the Courage, Perseverance, consistency to continue in a consistent manner to operate.
Team Capers Rouge: What makes L’Opera stand out in the crowd of Mushrooming Confectioneries, Bakeries and Patisseries?
Mr. Kazem: Answering that question the very first thing that comes to my mind is that we have the Passion for Trade and for what we do. Today we’ve witnessed the highest standards and the highest prodigy’s of French Bakery Items. There are many many other people who have seen it all…. commitment to extravagance of French culinary art!
The initial idea of L’Opéra germinated in Laurent Samandari’s mind while he was seeking authentic French bread and pastries during his internship in India in 2007- 2008. With the support of his family, he conducted a thorough market research and business planning of nearly 2 years, bringing to India some of the top pastry chefs of France to ensure no aspect was missed and enabling to deliver the best possible quality of products. With the support of croissant lovers in Delhi (the first tests were conducted inside the French Embassy kitchen), L’Opéra managed to re-create the savors and pleasures of France in the heart of India.
In 2010, French Bakery Pvt Ltd started a home delivery service and the first outlets opened their doors early 2011. The founding family is deeply engaged in the daily business of L’Opéra ensuring that the customers can enjoy a complete and authentic French experience in Delhi. There are, at all times, several family members involved in the operations bringing their unique French touch to L’Opéra every single day.