Leaders in Bahrain Hospitality: Sawsan Baluch of Mahonia and My Café

Bahrain Confidential interviews Sawsan Baluch, Founder of Mahonia and My Café.

Tell us something personal – how would you describe yourself in one word?

I would describe myself as passionate. Life offers abundance of opportunities, the difference in reaching the heights of success or not is passion. I am careful how I spend my time and ensure whatever interaction or thing I am working on, that I pour 100% of my soul into it and moreover the people I surround myself with also follow this mantra.

If you can change one thing about hospitality in general, what would it be?

Lots of people take hospitality for granted, missing the beauty and soul of this industry. Crafting special moments where you can bring people together is a rare commodity that should be nurtured. Hospitality means being hospitable, it’s exactly like opening your house to your guests; you want people to be comfortable, you want to make sure your guests get what they need, and feel at home. Mahonia is crafted to live this vision and I hope to see more gastronomy-focused concepts open in the GCC where hospitality is in our bones.

Read: Food review – My Cafe

Can you shed light on your vision for your businesses this 2020?

For 2020, my team and myself are now starting to see the rewards of putting Bahrain on the map as a Gastronomic destination; but we cannot stop there. 2020 will see a host of innovation as well as unique collaborations. You will be able to watch our mission come to life over the coming months!

What have been the biggest challenges and successes of the past year?

Mahonia being the gastronomic destination created its own challenges and opportunities following on from an amazing launch year. My team really showed me what passion, expertise and commitment can produce. Their dedication to a delivering my vision and a unique experience overcame all hurdles and now we have found the global market taking note.

This came to life especially in collaborations with some of the world’s best chefs including 4 hands dinners & Kitchen takeovers in my Fine Dining restaurant Mahonia, such as Mauro Collagreco from Mirazur in Menton, Bruno Oger from Villa Archange in La Cannet, Chef Augustin Balbi from Haku in Hong Kong, and Jorge Vallejo from Quintonil in Mexico. 2020 is already shaping up to be something amazing (watch this space for something special in February!). With the continued local and global patronage I couldn’t be more excited for the future of Mahonia.

Is there a particular saying or motto that guides you?

Be honest to your truth.