French Bakery Business: A French Muslim Woman’s Move From France To Egypt To Build Her Dream Life

Chaïma, a French woman of Moroccan origin, with a passion for baking, launched her French bakery, O’Sucre, in Egypt last year. She shares the challenges her business faces and her one-year goal to make it a success in 2024.


Reading Time: 6 minutes

Last October, I was searching for Halloween-themed pastry for a small party we were having. After several days of browsing different bakeries’ menus, I came across an Instagram ad for a Halloween-themed menu that had just the vibe I was looking for.

Adding to that, the flexibility and complete cordiality shown to my custom and meticulous ingredient requests kind of sold me. I was expecting everything to be a bit extortionate though, since it had “French” in the description. However, to my pleasant surprise, it was affordable compared to its alternative French pastry from big bakery chains. I can also attest that it tasted every bit as good as it looked.

Talking with the person who turned out to be the owner later, I thought her business’ story was one worth sharing. So, without further ado, please read on below about this small French bakery business in Egypt and the owner’s one-year goal to make it a success in 2024.

And if you happen to be in Egypt, go ahead and treat yourself to one of the delicacies offered at O’Sucre.

(P.S. This article is not sponsored.)

Small French Bakery Business: A French Muslim Woman's Move From France To Egypt To Build Her Dream Life
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Small French Bakery Business: A French Muslim Woman’s Move From France To Egypt To Build Her Dream Life

My passion for bakery is rooted in my family

My name is Chaïma, I’m 25 and I’m French of Moroccan origin. Since I was little, I have lived surrounded by cakes; my aunts and my mum used to make cakes all the time for every event, whether it was a birthday, Eid, Ramadan, family meals, really all the time. 

O'Sucre French bakery Egypt

My mother took her chef’s diploma at a pastry school in Paris. So, obviously I was always in her dough, helping her and learning. I grew up in that world, baking was just something natural to me. 

It’s a tough world and requires a lot of patience and determination though, which is why my mother advised me back then to continue my studies and not go into the pastry-making business.

I listened to her advice and went on to study Law and Town Planning. But still, I spent my weekends helping her with her cake orders.

However, after graduating, I wanted to continue to do what my mum has done, to keep the pastry passion alive in the family, and that’s when O’Sucre came to life.

Branding my bakery business and launching in France

O'Sucre French bakery Egypt business

Coming up with the name, I wanted something that would appeal to the sweet tooth, and most importantly, it needed to be a short name that would be easy to remember. After a few weeks and 10,000 attempts, the name “O’Sucre” resonated in my head, and it’s been with me ever since!

I think it is a name that totally suits me, and the graphics of my brand look gourmand and delicate too—which are the first impressions I want people to get when they see my logo.

After creating my brand, I started working on launching the business. I was working on it only on weekends and in the evenings, after coming home from my full time job.

This lasted for 3 years. During that time, I had regular customers and very good feedback, but I couldn’t take as many orders as I wanted to, because I was still only working on it on the side.

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The decision to leave France and move to Egypt

Ever since I was a little girl, I have dreamed of living in a Muslim country, so that I could live my religion to the fullest, which is quite difficult to do in a country that is practically at war with Muslims

Being forced to take off my hijab everyday to go to school and work was very disheartening for me. I never felt at home there. Even though I was passionate about the work I was doing, I was always sad.

Two years ago, I visited Egypt for the first time in my life, with my mother-in-law and my sisters-in-law. I don’t know how to explain it, but my heart told me, “This is where you have to start a new life.” 

I discussed the idea with my husband, who is Algerian-Egyptian-French, and he just said, “If it’s for your own good, if you believe in your project, then I’ll follow you to the end of the world.

 And here we are, two years later, finally in Egypt.

Launching my French bakery O’Sucre in Egypt

For two full years, we had worked back home, to put money aside for our move and the business we wanted to launch.

In August 2023, we finally took the necessary steps and left our home, our family, and our friends in France. 

It was a very difficult goodbye that still saddens us today. Living far from family and friends in a country where we have no landmarks and no friends is a great ordeal for us everyday. But I am following a dream and I am filled with hope that we can make it.

Is O’Sucre a one-woman show?

More like one woman and her supportive husband. At O’Sucre, I’m not just a pastry chef, I’m in charge of communication, marketing, photos, advertising campaigns, looking for collaborators, creating designs, and developing new recipes, etc. 

I’m really involved in everything concerning my business. I work only with my husband, but he’s more in charge of the delivery side of business, and he often helps me with communication too.

Finding the right ingredients for my French pastry in Egypt

The subject that worried me the most after the search for customers was obviously the quality of the ingredients, it took me over a month to find my ingredients. At first, everyone advised me to go and buy from wholesalers, so I followed this advice but to be honest it didn’t work at all. 

French patisserie is something delicate, you can’t make this type of patisserie without quality ingredients. So, I abandoned the idea and went to places like Carrefour and Saoudi Market to find brands similar to those in France, and thankfully it worked. 

At the moment, some of my ingredients come from Carrefour and Saoudi Market, and other ingredients come directly from France, such as chocolate, vanilla, and almond powder.

The challenge to find customers for my business

It has been and still is very difficult to find customers, despite our many market studies, our ads, and our collaborations. I’m not satisfied with the number of orders I am receiving at the moment.

It can be very frustrating when you only get very good feedback, when you work 24 hours a day, when you do everything you can to succeed, but it doesn’t take off the way you want it to..

It is a one-year goal, we either make it in 2024 or we go back home

O'Sucre French bakery Egypt

We have given ourselves a deadline of one year in Egypt, to be able to make a living from my passion running my own French bakery.

In August 2024, if we don’t manage to make O’Sucre grow, and if we don’t get the results we want, we will have to go back to France again to work more, and put some money aside to hopefully be able to come back, God willing, in a few years’ time and invest in a local shop instead.

However, if O’Sucre works, and we manage to pay ourselves a salary, then we will stay here, work even harder, and I will set up French pastry-making classes, recipe books, cake decorating workshops, etc.

I’ve got so many ideas and I’m so keen for my projects to work! And of course, we will still be putting money aside and to invest in a local shop that is currently under construction and that will be available to us in 2 years’ time.

O'Sucre French bakery Egypt
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French Bakery Business: A French Muslim Woman’s Move From France To Egypt To Build Her Dream Life

Final thoughts

I have written this from the heart, with tears in my eyes, because it’s my future that I’m trying to build. People often rest on my shoulders because I’m described by those close to me as a “strong, enterprising woman”, but every day I’m driven by the fear and anxiety of failing in what’s closest to my heart.

O’sucre isn’t just a brand, it is much more than that, it is my little baby that I’m trying to help grow. It is my whole life, my passion, my strength, and it is a showcase for myself—my pastries represent me: delicious, colorful and generous.

So, I hope that’s how my future customers will feel, because everything is made with heart and passion.


22 thoughts on “French Bakery Business: A French Muslim Woman’s Move From France To Egypt To Build Her Dream Life”

  1. Such an inspiring story! Chaima is truly a force to be reckoned with and I wish her all the best on her business ventures in 2024!

  2. Such an inspirational post. And I know the feeling of wanting something to grow but it not happening.

    I’m going to share this now!

  3. What an absolutely wonderful story – and the inspiration behind the name is perfect. Your photos are fabulous, they’re making my mouth water now! I wish Chaima every success in 2024, I’m sure she’ll do brilliantly, and thank you for sharing her story.

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