The Palestinian town of Bethlehem is not exactly known for the art of chocolate making. In fact its streets have seen far more tragedy than those of Zurich, Brussels and Vienna, the chocolate capitals of the world.
Yet this has not stopped Majida Salsa'a, a Palestinian chocolate-maker, from realizing her culinary dreams in her quaint West Bank chocolate factory.
Ms. Salsa’a is one of a handful of Palestinian chocolate makers, and she prides herself on her creations.
"What is unique about our products is that the chocolates are fresh. We spoil the clients by giving them all options, sweet or bitter chocolates. We also use different labels for various occasions," she said at her shop called Sweetie.
The ambitious mother of five, decided to set up her own business in 2009 with the aim of supporting herself and the family.
Currently her shop consists of three small rooms; one for mixing chocolates, one for packaging and another which is used as the shop front.
Ms. Salsa'a’s high standards and ambitious goals have led her to competing with international chocolate companies who sell and market their products in the West Bank. She maintains her chocolates are affordable and that they don’t compromise on quality.
"It was not easy to compete because there are a lot of cheap as well as expensive chocolates on the market. I did not want to make cheap chocolates of bad quality. I wanted a good local product to compete with various chocolates. We took the middle road and my products are not so expensive and not cheap because that would mean compromising on quality." she said.
Customers can order the chocolates with special messages or pictures on the packaging – perfect for special occasions.
Majida Salsa'a, a Palestinian chocolate-maker