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Faruk Gulluoglu: A brand born in Baku

Started in Baku in 1993, Faruk Gulluoglu exports to 25 countries and serves in 62 shops

The history of Gulluoglu family goes back to 1949 in Istanbul when the grandfather Mustafa Celebi opened a shop. The business is run by the fifth generation represented by Faruk Gullu. He opened its first shop in Baku in 1993. “We do not offer anything that we do not like ourselves. It is a rule of our fathers,” says while introducing export and activities.

On brief history of the company

I was advised to establish a business there by the late president Turgut Ozal during his visit to Azerbaijan. My father approved the idea and I alone, opened my first shop.

Then in 1994 we opened our first shop in Turkey, in Bakirköy, Istanbul. It was the first stage of expansion aiming to close the gap between our business and our customers. By 2002 we have had 12 shops supplied by our factory of 6 thousand sqm. Now we have 62 shops in total, 2 in Azerbaijan one in Estonia.

You may ask why Estonia? It is special for us. We wanted to establish a chain of shops in Europe. We visited number of European countries to explore opportunities, including Estonia. It is close to Turkey, and has an established business and economic system. Besides, the Estonian people like Turks. That was the reason.

On Lalin brand

We listen and observe our customers to learn about what are their needs and how they behave and what should we do to satisfy them. Lalin brand for halva and jam products was born during these efforts. Once baklava was our major item that we promote most in the events and fairs. Then we decided to add other sweet products including halva and jams. We sought dependable producer supplier partners who will produce quality jams. At the end we decided to produce them in our own factory to secure the best taste and quality. At the end, a new factory of 4 thousand sqm was established to produce halva and jams in Gaziantep.

On restaurants of Gulluoglu

We are a customer-oriented company. They demanded us to serve them in restaurants. Time is limited for our customers to spend some of their lives in restaurants and then go to another shop having sweeties. Actually, our forefathers have been serving food besides sweets in their shops. We have been familiar with this concept in the past. Gaziantep is a famous city with both its cuisine and sweets culture. Now we serve our customers both as a café and restaurant.

On targets for export

In 2014 our exports reached to 4 million. It was a success year. Our baklavas, delights, jams and halva are sold in 25 countries in Germany, Ukraine, Russia, Japan, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Australia. We formed a new team to improve our customer services in export markets. Our target for exports for the year 2015 is ten million. We will establish new dealers for distribution in these countries.

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