Elsarky, with a global FMCG and private equity background, becomes Chairman of Artisan du Chocolat with immediate effect after purchasing a majority stake in the London-based company.
For almost a decade under Elsarky’s leadership Godiva expanded its presence across channels and geographies, reaching almost 800 stores in more than 35 countries, making Godiva a leading prestige retailer of Belgian chocolates across international markets.
Established in 1999 in Borough Market in London, Artisan du Chocolat has celebrated inventiveness, with its own British-made, artisan chocolates and has been kept busy throughout COVID-19.
The business employs nearly 80 staff in England. Artisan uses fine flavour cocoa beans, which have been sourced sustainably, mostly from farmers in South America. It has retail stores in London in Chelsea (Lower Sloane Street), Selfridge’s and Borough Market and online at artisanduchocolat.com/ where it ships worldwide.
The company also provides private-label chocolates to fine food retailers in the UK.
Weyns said: “I am delighted to welcome Mohamed Elsarky to Artisan. Mohamed not only shares my passion for fine chocolate in spades, but importantly brings an unparalleled global experience in branded and private label chocolates and the track record of transforming businesses and developing scale, while preserving quality. Under Mohamed’s leadership as Chairman, we will accelerate Artisan’s sweet journey to bring smiles and pleasure to many more people, which is very much needed these days.”
Elsarky said: “Acquiring a brand during a global pandemic was always going to be a challenge, but I was determined to invest in this unique business. I believe wholeheartedly in Artisan’s potential. Artisan du Chocolat is an absolute gem – it has all the ingredients for a fantastic business recipe: creativity, uncompromising quality and dedication to its craft. With Anne Weyns’ relentless determination, the company has already transformed from a start-up to a renowned luxury chocolatier with tremendous growth opportunity. I feel privileged to join Anne and her team to realise the ambitions which the business deserves.”
Details of the transaction, which completed on 30 October 2020, are undisclosed.