In 1996, Ghraoui Chocolate Industry, headed by Mr. Bassam S. Ghraoui, established a modern chocolate and confectionery factory in the suburbs of Damascus meeting the latest standards in manufacturing high quality chocolate and confectionery. The manufacturing facility is always under expansion to meet with the growing demand especially from the expanding export market. The Ghraoui factory staffs over 250 employees. Ghraoui chocolates and confectionaries are manufactured with delicacy and prepared with the highest quality raw materials, giving attention to even the smallest of details. The process begins with the selection of the cacao from West Africa, then picking the finest Syrian almonds, nuts and Alepian pistachios and Syria’s famous Fruits: Apricots, Tangerines, and Oranges. Ghraoui is famous for exclusively using natural raw materials without any added artificial flavors, preservatives or hydrogenated fats. Ghraoui Chocolate Industry offers over a hundred varieties from chocolate to luxurious confectionery, many of which are exclusive to Ghraoui like; “Palmyra”, glazed dates seasoned with a hint of cloves, stuffed with almonds and coated with dark chocolate, “Almondina”, roasted almonds from the Ghouta covered in milk chocolate and dusted with cocoa powder and “Fondant Farci”, slightly roasted almond paste Marzipan coated with fondant and decorated with an almond on top. Another unique product which is known as Ghraoui’s signature is the “Golden Apricot of Damascus”, apricots from the Ghouta filled with roasted Alepian pistachios. Every year Ghraoui adds new products to its wide collection to keep a young and dynamic trend. Exhibitions and Fairs Ghraoui Chocolate was selected as the best product among the 150 participating companies, from three countries: Syria, Lebanon & Jordan in the Special Food Exhibition organized in Tokyo in 2002 by JETRO (Japanese External Trade Organization) especially for the Levant countries. Ghraoui was the only Syrian company to be invited by JETRO to participate in FOODEX 2003 in Tokyo under its own stand. FOODEX 2003 in Tokyo Salon du Chocolat Paris 2005 Salon du Chocolat Moscow 2006 Following the successful outcome in Tokyo, Ghraoui was motivated to participate in the Salon du Chocolat in Paris in 2004, where it was and has been the only participant from the Middle East. After initial success a stronger participation in 2005 lead Ghraoui to win the “Prix d’Honneur”. Winning the “Prix d’Honneur” in 2005 was helpful in opening the French market for Ghraoui Chocolate who now exports around 50% of its production to France, Europe and numerous Arab countries. The most popular of Ghraoui’s products in France are the Orangette which is a candied orange peel delicately coated with 80% cocoa dark and the “Golden Apricot of Damascus. The Prix d'Honneur award at the Salon du Chocolat - Paris 2005 Bassam Ghraoui receiving the “Prix d’Honneur” at the 11th Salon du Chocolat in Paris 2005 Success in international fairs led Ghraoui to expand its participation to include the first annual Salon du Chocolat and Chocolate Fashion Show in Moscow 2006. Ghraoui’s dress was designed by the Belgian designer, Stéphane Mahéas, and decorated with chocolate by skilled chocolate technicians at Ghraoui’s factory. In 2008, Ghraoui took part in this same chocolate fashion show in Paris with a special gown designed by the famous French designer Jean Doucet and worn by Miss France 2007, Rachel Legrain Trapani. In 2009, Ghraoui’s dress was worn by the French singer Carolie Clément. Moscow 2006 Paris 2008 Paris 2009 Ghraoui’s specialty is complemented by elegant and innovative packaging. Professional in-house designers select the materials, colors and arrangements for all products and packaging, matching different seasonal and occasional events to capture Ghraoui’s unique image. Ghraoui products are sold mainly through Ghraoui’s network of boutiques by qualified staff members who represent Ghraoui’s particular culture and maintain Ghraoui’s image and standard of service. For the last three years multiple international television stations have conducted reports and interviews about Ghraoui including LUXE TV from Luxembourg, ABC from the United States, where Diane Sawyer described Ghraoui chocolate as the world’s best chocolate, as well as CNN in its show “Market Place Middle East”. Moreover, many European and American publications have written on Ghraoui Chocolate including Aramco World, Madame Figaro and New York Times.