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Fresh Pita Bakery is a New Addition to Winnipeg’s Economy

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A staple of most Arabic cuisine and served at almost every Arab’s table, Arabic bread, also known as pitas, is a must in every Arab household.

Seeing the potential for a new business opportunity, as there were no other Arab bakeries within Winnipeg, MB, brothers Omar and Mohammed Khayyat started Fresh Pita Bakery.

In an interview with U Multicultural civic journalist Zuher Almusre, Omar explained that when they first moved to Winnipeg in 1999, they already had a concept for a bakery. However, it wasn’t until 2023 that the brothers saw their chance. In February, Fresh Pita Bakery began production.

Plans to open the bakery sooner were in place, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, those plans had to be pushed back. According to Omar, the pandemic caused delays and increased shipping costs for ingredients and equipment that met Canadian standards and Winnipeg food and safety regulations.

“The pandemic cost us a lot. First, government transactions became slower due to the lack of employees in government agencies, as employees had yet to start working from home. Also, our equipment was delayed by three months in sea shipment. Sea freight used to cost $2,500 before the pandemic, but it cost us $16,000 after the pandemic.

“In addition to these costs, finding someone to install their equipment was difficult. The brothers, already halfway to achieving their dream, decided there was no turning back.

Despite the hurdles in opening the bakery, Mohammed Khayyat said they plan to increase production and diversify, becoming a bakery that makes more than just Arabic bread. Mohammed added they dream of seeing Fresh Pita Bakery become a commercial endeavour that economically benefits Winnipeg and opens numerous employment opportunities.

“We have been able to hire six people so far, and with the rise in demand and the doubling of our bakery’s production, we foresee an increase in our workforce. We intend to broaden our product line to include Arabic sweets and pastries and are fully equipped to accomplish this”.

Instead of dwelling on their struggles, the brothers look forward to a prosperous future in Winnipeg.

– Zuher Almusre, U Multicultural

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