Who are these globetrotting people of which we speak?
The hive mind is ever changing, but the two founding members of BrownSugar based in Cape Town, are Badir Bechara and Jade Forbes. Both have travelled the world and gathered knowledge along the way, but after many years in the Middle East, found that there is just no place quite like the Mother City. And while we have the desire to travel again, there’s nowhere else we would like to hang our hats and call home.
Our global hivemind makes the bigger picture fit your smaller scale
Badir Bechara, Sales & Marketing Director, is a descendant of Simon Bolivar. Hailing from Caracas, Venezuela, he spent four years working in design after leaving Darias Graphic Institute. After learning English in Trinidad and Tobago, he packed his bags and headed for the sparking lights of the desert, working first in Dubai and then moving to Doha, Qatar. Starting as a freelance graphic designer, Badir worked with International Brands. His rise to fancy pants marketing guru started with his first job as an account manager for an advertising agency. Then he leapt into print for Nans Group ME as a Sales Manager for the high end fashion magazine OHLALA Doha while wearing a second hat as the Project manager for FACT Doha magazine. He even has his own food column, Cucina de Badir. Badir pioneered the first FACT dining awards in Doha which have since become a local legend that big names aspire to win annually. Moving with the current, Badir went digital, joining Haroon United Group’s IloveQatar.net, Qatar’s biggest community website, as the Sales and Marketing manager. Here, with the help of his team, he cultivated the online trend of promotional videos, advertorials and reviews for big name F&B brands. Badir’s passion for marketing is contagious, helping brands to maximise their budgets by providing ideal media plans and creative solutions for advertising, advertorials, special operations, photoshoots and social media as well as customised events. Badir travelled to Cape Town on holiday, and instantly fell in love with the natural beauty, deciding to stay and make a life in this wonderful place.
Jade Forbes, Business & Development Director, originally from Durban, started in hospitality as a tender teen working her way through school, and then art direction & graphic design at advertising college, before embarking on a 2-year journey that took her around the UK. Missing the mountain, she returned home to study Interior Design at university by day, working at some of Cape Town’s top restaurants by night to pay for it all. She did graduate, but the food bug had bitten her hard. Even though she enjoyed the fluffy pillows and straight lines, her passion lay in the adrenaline-fuelled life of food service, she apprenticed under well-known Chef Mike Basset for over 3 years, learning everything she needed to about restaurant PR, and marketing as well as the bones of the hospitality business. After a sojourn to the plains of Gauteng as a F&B Manager of a private resort, she was head-hunted and flown to the desert by one of MENA’s biggest retail groups, MH Alshaya, as the GM of Pizza Express. It was in Doha that she closed off an 18-year career in hospitality, from sculler to GM, Jade had had all the dirty and glamorous jobs in-between. Needing a change of pace, she switched to Sales Manager of two stores for home décor giants, Williams-Sonoma: Pottery Barn & Pottery Barn kids, (and you thought she’d lost out on her interior degree, didn’t you?) It took Jade twenty years and a lot of sweat, working in several industries across several countries with many nationalities to consider herself a business developer. Ultimately though, the need to travel was outweighed by the desire to see the mountain, in the city she calls home.