A chocolate fanatic, it was not easy for Elena Weber to stay skinny for her modelling career in the UAE. But as she travelled to Argentina in 2011, she encountered stevia, a green leaf used in South America as a natural sweetener, and her career took an unexpected turn.
Why not make sugar-free cakes with it? She thought. The result, the Icons Coffee Couture chain, is Dubai’s first coffee shop with no added sugar, “because you’re sweet enough,” as her slogan reads.
In a country where 19% of the population suffers from diabetes, her cafe concept is more than a fashion trend. “Today you seldom find a product that does not contain sugar – you find it in breads, tomato soups, sauces, but it’s one of the main reasons for diabetes and obesity,” she told the National.
Setting up the business was not easy for Weber, who had to run her business plan, along with cupcake samples to investors all in no less than nine months. Today, her fashion café brand makes waves in the UAE, and she has already signed a franchising agreement for six other outlets in the UAE and five in Qatar.
For more information: Visit Icons’ website