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Hidden Gems: Meet Suzy Hovanesyan

Today we’d like to introduce you to Suzy Hovanesyan.

Hi Suzy, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
After years of working in both corporate and non-profit entities, I needed a change. Working as a Human Resource and Operations executive was fulfilling and something I loved, but I felt it was time to venture into the field of entrepreneurship.

I founded Sheera Sweets in 2015 after identifying a need for a healthy and gourmet alternative to sugary sweets. Weary of processed sugars in processed foods like cupcakes or brownies, I wanted to bring health to the forefront of what we consume as snacks.

Being Greek-Armenian, dried fruit is a significant part of our diet. With this in mind, I decided to travel around the world and source the finest and organic ingredients and pair them with my favorite natural and organic dried fruit – dates. I began traveling around the Middle East and experimenting and sourcing various gourmet concoctions of flavors, nuts, and of course chocolate to create luxurious combinations of stuffed and chocolate-covered dates.

We traditionally view dates as these overly sticky and tightly packed sweets. Part of my journey was also creating an aesthetic element to something that generally doesn’t look so appealing. Taking that in consideration, I’ve created over 40 different beautiful varieties and combinations from infusing rose petals to matcha to salted peanut butter and coffee beans.

This was so successful, I decided to further expand upon the concept and create a luxury coffeehouse where people could enjoy the gourmet sweets.

As a result, Cafe Sheera Beverly Hills opened in the heart of the Golden Triangle of Beverly Hills in October 2018. This has become one of the most Instagrammed cafes in Los Angeles and won numerous awards and distinctions as one of the most beautiful destinations in the County.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Oh boy. Absolutely not.

I can go on and on about how difficult it is to import my ingredients from around the world and the logistical and customs nightmare that is involved.

I think the biggest challenge was to endure the calamity that was COVID a year after opening the cafe. This was something we were not prepared for. Whether it was the daily changes in the mandates and restrictions or the delays in shipping and supply line shortages, we had to navigate the best we could to continue operating the business with the same high quality and level of experience our customers expected. I had to learn to consistently pivot my business and its operations to stay in business.

This company has taught me so many lessons. Part of life is accepting and understanding how to navigate challenges and remain level-headed and composed at all times.

As you know, we’re big fans of Sheera Beverly Hills. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
Just call me the Date Queen of Beverly Hills. Hi, my name is Suzy Hovanesyan and I’m the Founder / CEO of Sheera Beverly Hills.

Sheera is most known for its gourmet and luxurious dates from around the world. We only source the finest ingredients and create healthy concoctions of flavors that embody the delicate balance of artisanal tradition and the pursuit of perfection.

In addition, we’re known for being what’s most often referred to as one of the most beautiful cafes in Los Angeles – Café Sheera Beverly Hills. People come to the cafe to enjoy our expansive selection of Mediterranean sweets and what’s now become world famous – our Egyptian Rose Latte.

Who else deserves credit in your story?
I’m so lucky to be surrounded by a circle of supportive friends, but I’m even more blessed to have my family behind me throughout this journey. They have been absolutely wonderful in standing firmly behind as I’ve delved into this venture. My sister Lia has been the most influential person behind this concept. Her vision started it all.

Additionally, I can’t emphasize enough how much I deeply appreciate my team. I can’t do what I do without their daily dedication, loyalty, and hard work. It certainly takes a village to make a successful business. I always believed in building people over building a business. This company is a testament to that principle.

I should also probably thank my CPA for always advising me against buying yet another pair of shoes. Haha!

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