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A Decade of Decadence

L’Opéra is celebrating its 10th anniversary

Published: 04th April 2021 10:14 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th April 2021 10:14 AM   |  A+A-

L’Opéra Founders: Kazem Samandari with son Laurent

It seems to have been both ages ago, and also as if it were just yesterday,” muses Kazem Samandari, Executive Chairman of L’Opéra, as the brand completes a decade in business this week. Recently, a customer approached Kazem at their Green Park outlet, and told him that he and his family visited the brand’s various outlets daily, sometimes more than once a day. And that L’Opéra had made it possible to get premium pastries and baked treats without having to step into the lobby of a five-star hotel, while also distinguishing itself from other bakeries.

“That’s exactly what we have been trying to go for,” beams Kazem, about finding and slotting into this sweet spot. When Frenchman Laurent Samandari,  Laurent o-founder and Managing Director of L’Opéra, and Kazem’s son, opened the brand’s first outlet in Khan Market on March 30, 2011, little did he realise that he and his family would come to reconfigure the Capital’s sweet and savoury sensibilities, by introducing us to the storied confections and cookery of French cuisine through their patisserie.

Easter Eggs at L’Opéra

The celebrations will continue through to September 2021, and include special engagements with the customers, introduction of special anniversary products and offers, special initiatives such as gifts to mark the opening dates of outlets, distinct 10th anniversary packaging, a special video tracing the history of the company,and even a surprise eggless menu with around 50 items (“And we, being a French company!” notes Kazem in mock horror) for Navratri to acknowledge the commitment of L’Opéra to its local clientele and its appreciation of their traditions. Also, on the menu is a culinary festival entitled the “Flavours of France” (watch this space for more).

However, ‘egg’ is definitely on the menu with the brand’s Easter Collection, which launched the anniversary festivities. Chocolate lovers will have plenty to celebrate with L’Opéra’s bunnies, eggs and family compositions of roosters “Fête en famille (family party)” made of white, milk and dark chocolate options. Over the last decade, the brand has introduced French cuisine to diners across Delhi-NCR, and Dehradun, through concepts and formats such as its Boulangerie-Patisserie, Salon de Thé (Tea Room) and Café Restaurant. It also set a benchmark for premium baked goods and confections, one that several have since tried to emulate, though few have attained and maintained that level of quality. The prices at L’Opéra may be on the high end, but the products are peerless too.

“I would not say there is any secret to it, unless it’s hard-work and consistency. When we started L’Opéra in India, we wanted to establish a brand that would last for generations, and so we looked and planned ahead, instead of a quick return on investment. Each member of the family and staff is committed to ensuring the best quality and same quality of products every single day,” asserts Kazem, pointing out that the brand has trained over 600 people in the mysteries of fine patisserie over the decade, and many of them went on to start their own ‘French-inspired’ bakeries and pastry shops.

“I think that’s actually a great thing. I always say that if the automobile industry had never moved beyond the Ford Model-T, it never would have become as big as it is. Similarly, our country is home to 1.3 billion people, and there is enough space for all of us to thrive and innovate,” concludes Kazem. And so, more generations of Delhi, and beyond, will get to grow up with L’Opéra and its introduction to French foods. How sweet it is!



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