Sonya Janahi Photo

Sonya Janahi

Owner, Maya Chocolateire

Founder & CEO for Maya La Chocolaterie and its parent company, ‘The Living Concepts’; a hospitality and F&B consultancy mandated to inspire home-grown innovative concepts with vast potential to turn them into international franchise names. Sonya founded Maya La Chocolaterie over 10 years ago as the first artisan chocolate brand in Bahrain and has since evolved it into a successful GCC-wide franchise synonymous with some of the best chocolatiers in the world. Her love for chocolate inspired her to pursue a qualification in Ecole Chocolate and she is a Certified Professional Chocolatier and a mentor and guide to the Chefs of Maya. Boasting a distinguished career that spans over two decades working in the banking and telecom industries, and with specialised know-how in the areas of retail, investment, oil & gas and real estate, Sonya has applied her expertise to strategically diversify and evolve the family business, carving its growth path beyond Bahrain, to international territories, through best in class partnerships and Mergers & Acquisitions. In addition to her integral role in expanding the reach and breadth of the Maya brand, Sonya is actively involved in the rest of the Group’s subsidiaries which extend to investment and financial, administration, HR and IT consultancies; architecture and interior design; and construction, where she also holds senior advisory positions as a member of the Board. Sonya is widely commended for her entrepreneurial spirit; she has sought to make a difference as an enabler of change, advocating for the region’s SME sector and using her own story of achievements to stimulate progress in the realm of entrepreneurship as well as to empower women. In March 2018, Sonya won a board seat at the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce & Industry and her role is focused on supporting the F&B and hospitality sector of Bahrain. Staying humble and grounded, Sonya is dedicated to giving back to the community and works closely with charities close to her heart to improve the quality of life so the community can thrive. Sonya holds a Master’s Degree in Strategic Marketing from Hull University, in the United Kingdom. Sonya has two daughters. Over and above her passion for chocolate, she enjoys exploring new countries and cultures, mentoring and the art of cooking.