After having carried his currency exchange business for over a year in Mersin, Mr. Firas sought other means of sustenance by moving to Istanbul to open El-mehaba shop for bakery and pastries three months ago in Aksaray behind the mall of Historia in Istanbul. Despite his lack of experience in the field of bakery and pastries, Mr. Firas wished to introduce traditional Syrian pastries in Istanbul for the lack of similar bakeries in the area. Elmehaba shop offers pasteries of all kinds, such as cheddar cheese, salami, chicken with curry, thyme with oil, spinach, sausage and pizza.
Despite appealing to a variety of Turkish, Iraqi and Syrian customers, Mr. Firas does not consider the demand sufficient compared to the customers figure he initially predicted. This, he says, is more likely due to multiple factors such as the location of the shop, the street liveliness in particular, and the timing needed for building a base of regular customers. As for quality, according to Mr. Firas, everyone who tasted his pastries returned back again!
Mr. Firas sustained that Elmehaba bakery and pastries is not his first experience in entrepreneurship, as he ran a successful wood trade business for many years back in Syria. Despite the high rents in Istanbul and the obstacles facing small shop owners such as taxes and customer demand, he strongly encourages young people to take measures and embark on entrepreneurship.