Whether it’s food that you crave, or something new to wear to your next event, Kuwait is alive with local concepts and start-ups that make this nation a truly special one. These are concepts that have sustained challenges since inception, and inspire us all to follow in their footsteps! Today, we celebrate these five concepts that had a humble start and have grown to achieve national acclaim.
THE NOVEMBER COMPANY
All hail the queen of cupcakes and delicious baked goodies! When Bibi Hayat set up The November Company back in 2006 it was intended to create an opportunity to have incredible small scale events, beautiful packaging and delightful baked goodies. Growing steadily over the years, The November Company has become Kuwait’s go-to event planners and master bakers. With a cute kitschy boutique inside The November Bakery, complete with specialist florists – you’re guaranteed to walk out with beautiful desserts and the perfect gift or flower arrangement for any occasion. As for their latest addition, The November Café, you can dine in or takeaway your favorite dessert, coffee and salad or sandwich combination!
Translating literally as The Place, AlMakan is – for lack of a better description – a creative food hub where art and culture can get together over a shared love of food. Split up into four effortlessly fitting sections: The Cube, The Studio, The Coffee and The Restaurant, AlMakan caters to all. Functioning as a makeshift popup gallery, The Cube gathers artists and creatives to showcase art and hold seminars. The Studio functions as a creative educational space for workshops that will feed the mind and challenge the soul. The Coffee is a chic little café space on the ground floor where you can pick up a cup of coffee and delicious pastry. The Restaurant on the other hand, serves up delicious culinary experimentations created by none other than Faisal Al Nashmi.
SOLO PIZZA NAPULITANA/DOPPIO
There’s something quite striking and truly unforgettable about any given visit to Solo Pizza Napulitana. Besides the authentic Neapolitan-style pizza prepared with the freshest ingredients that remains forever ingrained in our taste buds, it is also seeing local chef and entrepreneur Amr Al Rifai work that commanding wood-fire oven! Not only has he given the Neapolitan pizza a home in Kuwait, he has also put his knowledge about all things pizza to delicious use with the opening of the Italian Pizzeria and Friggitoria concept Doppio at the M2 Complex in Salhiya. Since opening Solo Pizza in 2011, Amr has been on a successful journey pleasing our culinary palates, one Margherita Pizza at a time.
KUWAIT LONDON TRADING COMPANY
Established in 2008, Kuwait London Trading Company introduced its food division a year later, and after Mubarak Jaffar completed his Master’s degree in Management in the MENA region in 2012, he joined the company as CEO to expand the company’s two outlets to an impressive eleven. Concepts expanded by KLC include favorites such as Junkyard, Humble Burgers, The Kitchen and Proper Sliders, and with each concept opened and supported by in-house developed branding, interior design and packaging by the company, KLC is achieving over 550 deliveries a day, but aims to reach over 900-1000 home deliveries per day across all outlets, which would inevitably make them become the largest group of local delivery concepts in Kuwait, and Inshallah, across the GCC.
A startup hub and incubator of sorts, Sirdab Lab came out of a need for a talent hub in Kuwait. Inspired by Silicone Valley and the great concepts that come out of it, the Sirdab Lab founders decided to create a space where people can meet to discuss great ideas and start any business they see fit. Providing young entrepreneurs with the opportunity to create a business model they’d like to see launched, Sirdab Lab can also help them with any advice or mentoring they might require. From this humble basement, groups like the GDG, The Divan and events like their startup Speed Dating event have flourished.