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Koen Theunis, founding partner

My love affair with the hospitality industry started when I was in my teens; every weekend I saw my mother, who was a great baker, put home-baked cakes, bread and all sorts of other sugary things on the table for us to indulge in… week after week. It was my first call to attend the secondary hotel school.

I was fascinated by how big hotels and busy restaurants could run so flawlessly even though they were looking after so many people’s experiences at the same time; therefore I decided to start my Bachelor degree in hospitality management in Antwerp and graduated 4 years later in 1993. The idea at the time was that I would work hard to become a hotel GM of a luxury hotel brand one day.

My studies brought me to London where I was fortunate enough to work for some of the most reputable names in our industry; The Dorchester Hotel, Intercontinental Hotels, Hyatt Hotels and Resorts and The Goodwood Hotel Group.

After more than 10 years in London, an opportunity offered itself when I was asked to move to Dubai to become part of the pre-opening team at Madinat Jumeirah. I can still remember today that it took me about 2.5 seconds to say, “YES!”.

A whole new world was waiting for me to explore. My learning curve continued to grow and grow, even after I left hotel operations in 2005 and moved into a corporate role at Emaar Hospitality Group and later to stand alone restaurants. It was during this time that I was mostly exposed to startups of new projects and overlooking the operations of multiple restaurant concepts. I knew then that F&B development and starting up new ventures was what I really wanted to do day in day out. 

For over 20 years I had worked for good companies in good management positions, went through good times but also not so good times, but the experience I gained during these years is now invaluable for what I enjoy doing most. 

Our commitment to every project we take on is based on creativity, long-term sustainability, and transparency with the client. We strongly believe that successful ventures are built like pyramids: from the foundations upward, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.