From refugee to restaurateur: Syrian family opens business downtown
Damascus Cafe and Bakery officially opens today on Beech Street
Members of a Syrian family who came to Sudbury as refugees in 2016 are taking another big step today.
The Qarqouz family will be opening a new restaurant on Beech Street, called Damascus Cafe and Bakery. It offers Mediterranean and Syrian cuisine for eat-in or take out.
Hussien Qarqouz owned his own bakery in Syria, and wanted to do the same thing in Canada.
"We told him it would probably take about five years before he could do that, but he's very determined and convinced enough people to support him" friend Roger Pile said.
Pile has taught Qarqouz how to speak English and how to drive. He also helped the family set up the new business over the past three months.
"I was more the fix-it person. I did painting, building tables and putting up counters and things like that."
Pile admitted the hardest part to getting the restaurant up and running was helping Qarqouz with all the paperwork.
Pile calls Qarqouz a wonderful baker.
"[Qarqouz] wanted to stay in Sudbury because he so appreciated the warm welcome that Sudbury has given him, and the support that they've given him," Pile said.
"I just hope that the people in the community of Sudbury are able to get into his restaurant and realize how wonderful the food that he makes is and support him, and make his business a success."
With files from Angela Gemmill