NOLA Cupcakes Opens Its Very First Store in Mansoura
Our favorite cupcake shop is taking a step into uncharted waters today with the grand opening of their newest branch – in Mansoura. NOLA began in 2010 with a single shop in Zamalek, and we’ve watched it grow over the years to seven shops in Cairo, one in Alex, seasonal locations in Sahel, a few booths – and now a shop in Mansoura.
“Mansoura is an untapped Market and NOLA is a brand that loves to take risks,” the founder and CEO of NOLA Cupcakes, Laila Sedky, told us, adding that the success of their Alexandria branch helped push them to take this latest step. “We’ve done our research and discovered that Mansoura has a very high purchasing power, and we see an opportunity to build our brand outside of Cairo,” she added.
We were able to ask Laila a few questions ahead of today’s opening, about the Mansoura branch and her success with NOLA in general, and here’s what she had to say:
Will the Mansoura branch be the NOLA we know, or something a bit different?
NOLA has very clear brand guidelines, it will definitely be the NOLA you know. We have a larger product mix in Mansoura and we are currently a full-fledged pastry shop, not only specialized in cupcakes.
Do you expect the market in Mansoura to be different?
Yes, every market has its clientele, even in Cairo. We believe virgin markets are more fun and the customers are very supportive and have higher engagement along with loyalty to the brand.
If you’re expanding into Mansoura that must mean things are going well. Tell us: what’s the key to your success?
Hard work, consistency and loving what you do everyday. NOLA is a brand that cares deeply about their customers and the quality of the product and we always strive to bring pleasure through our doors.
How did you manage to brand NOLA so well?
Branding NOLA is a key factor to our success. We’re at the beat of life with all current events and this helps keep the brand fun for our customers.
What has been your greatest challenge in starting and/or growing NOLA?
The biggest challenge at NOLA is the bureaucratic system. It’s very hard to keep the business going without facing daily obstacles whilst ensuring the safety of the brand.
Who has been your greatest inspiration or mentor?
My brother Adel and I always looked up to our father, an entrepreneur who successfully launched his own financial consultancy, and from him learned to take smart risks. Yet even though we grew up in the same family, we couldn’t be more different. Adel skillfully manages operations and logistics with an attention to detail and a strong work ethic he learned in his days as an equestrian champion, and for me, I use my creative mind to drive brand and product development.
Has anyone ever questioned your ability to run NOLA successfully, as a woman? If so, how did you respond?
I wouldn’t say people questioned my ability as a woman; my challenge was introducing the first cupcake store and being so young at the time, especially as NOLA was my first job!
Any words of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Never take no for answer!
You have to tell us – what is your favorite cupcake?
Pralines N’ Cream. 🙂
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