Syrian refugees recycle food for new dessert business in Halifax – Halifax


A group in Halifax that includes three Syrian refugees launched a business on Saturday that offers Syrian desserts made from so-called recycled food.

“Even though they barely have the language skills, they’ve only been here six months and have already started a business. I mean, how awesome is that? Sylvia Gawad, founder of Piece of the East, said.

The business takes the form of a kiosk open on weekends at the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market.

Jams, cookies, and cookies, among other goodies, are made from supplemental foods provided by the Parker Street Food and Furniture Bank.

Alaa AlHraki, who volunteered for the bank, said he came to Canada from Syria with “zero English” but brought his culinary experience.

He makes desserts with two other refugees.

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Alaa AlHraki, pictured in Halifax on January 21, 2017, making desserts for Piece of the East.

Steve Silva / Global News

Gawad said the success of the business so far is due to the support of the community.

Hope Blooms offered a kitchen space and her attendees helped the group learn how to sell produce at the farmers market, she said.

The business is run like a social enterprise; part of the proceeds will go to help refugees with disabilities.

“It’s personal for [one of the refugees in the group] because he has three disabled siblings and his father too, so it touches him at home, ”said Gawad.

The hope is that Piece of the East will offer more than just desserts in the future, she added, and the ultimate goal is to open a restaurant operated on an all-you-can-eat basis.

Sylvia Gawad, pictured in Halifax on January 21, 2017, is the founder of Piece of the East.

Steve Silva / Global News

Nova Scotia Immigration Minister Lena Diab, who lived in Lebanon as a child (according to her website), attended the inauguration and was asked if the treats passed the test. taste.

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“He has. It’s pretty good, it’s pretty good, and I would make a difference,” she replied, laughing.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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