In DHA’s Tauheed Commercial area, ice cream parlour Movenpick has got a spanking new facelift. Instead of regular wooden furniture, the “boutique” now has white seats and an elegant red and white interior.
The look may be a little too clinical and modern for an ice cream place, but it seems that it is the image the team was hoping to project — a sophisticated joint serving niche customers high-quality Swiss ice cream.
The brand was born in Zurich, Switzerland in the 1960s, but came to Pakistan in 2003. On Tuesday, the Movenpick team welcomed guests to the revamped franchise to get a taste of “premium sweets and desserts”.
“It’s a place where it is possible for people to pamper themselves,” said Dr Mohammad Imran, the managing director of the Jofa Group behind this venture. “Movenpick is famous for its 100% natural flavours — no artificial additives or food colouring are added,” he boasted, adding that “it’s not just an ice cream parlour –it’s a boutique.”
The Caramelita, Maple Walnut and Mint Chocolate flavours may have you daydreaming about your next trip to the joint, but the price tag is for the premium Swiss ice cream is steep. A single scoop is priced at Rs179, double at Rs339 and triple at Rs489. If you want your ice cream in a freshly baked waffle cone, you have to pay an additional Rs69. Imran said that a scoop of ice cream in Asian and European markets costs $3 and $5 respectively, which he feels is reasonable. “What we are serving here in Pakistan is a lot cheaper than what is offered in other countries,” he said.
The menu includes milkshakes and various ice cream delights, such as ice cream served with jelly, various sauces (strawberry, raspberry, chocolate), wafer rolls along with toppings of chocolate shavings, caramel, whipped cream and mint leaves. Unfortunately, the franchise can only satiate a sweet-tooth craving since there are no savoury food items available yet. It’s competitors in the area, Gelato Affair and Hotspot, (currently being renovated) offer both.
At the re-launch event, guests had the freedom to choose their own flavours of ice cream which were served to them on a bed of bite-sized waffles. Amongst the guests was US consulate official Mark Templer, who said: “Mein bohot khush hoon Movenpick Boutique ki launch per. Berozgari ki satah niche aye gi,” in effortless Urdu. Helping himself to a scoop of ice cream, Templer, whose former post was in India, said he enjoyed being in Karachi. “I don’t see any difference between the people of these two countries. They all look forward to having a good time and, like everybody else, enjoy ice cream!”
Also present in the crowd were model-actor Nadia Hussain and stylist Aliya Tipu. Tipu said that she would drop in for some scrumptious strawberry ice cream every now and then as she lives across the street from the boutique.
Movenpick currently has a total of 11 outlets across the country and Imran revealed that opening more branches was on their agenda. “We plan to re-brand the franchise all across the nation,” he said. “Expansion plans are already in the pipeline in Punjab — they just love to eat!”
Published in The Express Tribune, January 17th, 2013.
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