OSLO is a haven for desserts like cakes and ice-cream. In their world, every bite is a celebration, a momentary escape into a realm where sweetness becomes the language of pure, unadulterated happiness. It is for this reason that their tagline ‘Made in Heaven’ is more fitting than anything else.
With thousands of followers on Instagram, OSLO is rapidly establishing itself as a go-to place for desserts in Beirut, most recently in Milan. KHAMSA took a seat ‘at the table’ alongside Julie and Yasmine Audi, daughters of Nayla Audi, the company’s founder. These two are the fresh new minds behind OSLO, and we got to ask them a few questions.
١. Tell us more about how you began your journey with OSLO.
OSLO: Made in heaven was founded by our mother, Nayla, back in 1997. She turned her lifelong passion for sweets and desserts into a thriving business. Growing up, desserts were central in our world – we enjoyed them so much that we almost took them for granted. Yasmine was set on a career in Design and Julie in Economics; we were each focused on our own paths. But during the COVID lockdown, the three of us spent more time together than we had in years.
As the world stood still, we filled hour after hour baking and creating recipes in the kitchen. That’s when we realized what had probably been obvious to others all along – that we were meant to continue and expand upon Nayla’s legacy with OSLO.
٢. From Beirut to Milan, Oslo is spreading its wings across the world. What are the learnings and challenges you have taken on as you have expanded?
Expanding a storied brand like OSLO into new countries has unique challenges – from finding the perfect retail location to establishing a company structure in another language. Our flagship store in Beirut boasts an extensive menu filled with various cakes, ice creams, cookies, tarts, bombes glacées, and much more. For OSLO Milan, we decided to highlight our signature Angel Cake and artisanal ice creams. The diversity of our offerings will still shine through special flavors like Rose Loukoum, Wild Orchid, Coffee Toffee Crunch, and seasonal sorbets.
٣. Desserts are becoming a staple of aesthetic pictures on social media and the like, with their vibrant and colourful looks. Is this something you have actively explored with OSLO, and if so, how do you go about it?
OSLO’s aesthetic has always been natural and simple – that’s what makes our products beautiful and timeless. While planning for the opening of our store, we have focused on custom cakes, table curation, and collaborations for events in design, art and fashion. Social media has been a great way to communicate this.
Some of our favourite projects have been our installation at Nomad in St Moritz last year, inspired by an artwork by Claes Oldenberg, and collaborating with fashion brand Superyaya in Beirut and Paris, where we created desserts inspired by her clothing. Social media is a great platform to get inspired, connect and meet new people.
٤. We discovered that Oslo is a family business. How is it structured internally? Are there any challenges in running a dessert shop in a family?
OSLO remains a family-run business at its core. Our mother Nayla is the creative mind behind the OSLO brand and oversees operations at the flagship Beirut location. As her daughters, we – Yasmine and Julie – now lead OSLO’s expansion into Milan, including curating events and brand collaborations.
Working as a family unit has many advantages, as everyone contributes their own perspectives
and ideas to the table – though sometimes there are almost too many opinions! There is also no shortage of passion and emotion when it comes to making decisions. This passion is also what drives us to create the best product possible for our customers.
٥. We never forget the best meals we have had, no matter how old we get. What was your favourite childhood memory involving desserts?
For us, the best meals were always at home, surrounded by our family members, talking endlessly about flavours, recipes and all the memories that come with them. When we were young, our activities mostly took place in the kitchen. Our favourite recipe was one passed down from our great-grandmother called “Sablés 1-2-3”. Sablés are fun – a little like edible ‘play-doh’ – and we would never get bored of making them or eating them! This recipe never failed us and is the base for our signature OSLO sablés.
Our favourite memory was travelling with our mom as children. We used to go to restaurants, and during dessert time, she would say, “we need to order the whole dessert menu – it’s marketr esearch!” It was so fun; we loved it!
OSLO is a charming pastry shop that exudes nostalgia and beauty. Its unique concept, family-oriented atmosphere, appearance, and ambiance collectively create an unmistakable sense of being ‘Made in Heaven.’