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"Taste and feel at home" is the concept that Ahmed's Bake House's company is investing in

Shahinaz Ahmed and Ahmed Yahya to Mosaik:
- We aim to create a culture of popular food and create a family atmosphere through the food we serve.
- Expats to Sweden have difficulty finding a stable job. So we decided to open our own company.
- We believe that the government is the one who contributes to creating unemployment through the social subsidies it provides to the unemployed for long periods.
Växjö • Publicerad 23 juni 2022 • Uppdaterad 4 juli 2022
Foto: Maha Nasser

With the concept of "Taste and Feel Home '' The couple Shahinaz Ahmed and Ahmed Yahya have invested in their family business "Ahmeds Bake House '' for sweets and popular breakfasts at Verkstadsgatan 18Å. Ahmed came to Sweden in 2005 and Shahinaz came with their children in 2007. Since then the couple struggled to learn the language and integrate into society and worked several jobs until they decided to open their own business in 2020.

" We are Palestinians from Iraq." Shahinaz says. "I studied sociology in Iraq at the Faculty of Literature and when I finished my studies I was supposed to work as a teacher at the same university. But as a woman with children it was difficult to enter the labor market, because the government does not provide care homes for children. The woman is forced to stay at home in order to take care of her children, and the man bears the full responsibility. When we came to Sweden, I wanted to work and integrate into society. I learned the language by helping my children with homework, as I was forced to learn the language in order to teach my children. In addition, I was watching childrens TV programs with my children. But we used to speak our mother tongue at home because it is important for the child to learn the language of his parents."

Shahinaz studied as a nanny and worked in several nurseries, but she was unable to find a stable job. As for Ahmed, he is an electrical technician graduate in Iraq, but he finds himself making sweets and baked goods. Ahmed worked in many places including a pizzeria , Växjö bageri and grocery stores. After that, he decided with Shahinaz to open their own project.

- Expats to Sweden have difficulty finding a stable job. So we decided to open our own company. Although we opened during the Corona crisis, there was a great risk of losing, but we succeeded. For two years the business went up and down. The reason for that is the location of the shop because it is not in the facade. However, we have regular customers who know our place, and new customers who visit us every day. Shahinaz and Ahmed both say.

What do you offer to clients?

We are a family business, so we are the ones who make baked goods, sweets and food our way. Because what distinguishes our food is that it is a local folk food, and whoever tastes our food feels like he is at home or sitting in a restaurant in one of the popular neighborhoods in his country. We offer, among other things, pastries, meat, spinach, thyme, cheese, kibbeh of all kinds, falafel, hummus, beans, omelette with meat and without meat, as well as sweets such as: cakes, cakes without sugar, sesame, baklava and kunafa. Most of our customers are from the Arab communities, and we also have Swedish customers who find our food with a special flavour, and they love what we offer and they come to us constantly. We are constantly growing, for example a group of students only ordered a cake for 4 students, and today they called and ordered 175 pieces for a wedding.

Why did you choose to invest in homemade food, what concept do you want to present?

Our shop is the only shop in Kronobreg that serves homemade food, which is not like restaurant food. We want to make the customer feel that he is eating at home and not in a restaurant. We aim to introduce the culture of folk food and create a family atmosphere through the food we serve. This is what distinguishes us from others. Even our young customers, when they come, call me "Auntie" and Ahmed "uncle". This really makes us happy and makes us feel that we are actually achieving our goal of creating a family atmosphere for our clients. Shahinaz says.

Shahinaz loves to cook, while Ahmed loves to make cakes and sweets. Therefore, the couple united their hobby in the Ahmeds Bake House Company.

“I really enjoy making bread and sweets and see that I am doing creative work, and at the same time I feel happy when the customers enjoy the taste of the food we make,” says Ahmed.

"Ahmed loves work so much that we don't see him at home anymore and we don't have time to spend as a family. We are at work most of the time but we really enjoy what we offer our clients." Shahinaz adds.

Do you have a plan to expand your project?

We mentioned that we are having a problem with the location of the shop because it is not in the facade, so we are already planning to expand the store and move the facade. In addition, we recently opened a service to fulfill requests for weddings and events such as graduation parties, birthdays, and others.

What was the motive that made you Shahinaz choose to work when some expat women choose to stay at home and take care of the children?

I had to work, first for my financial independence and secondly to help my family. It was our goal not to let our daughters depend on the csn loan and we work to support them during their university studies. We do not want to depend on financial aid. It is important for women to work and be financially independent, and it is important for them to contribute to building society. You should go out to work, face life's challenges, and learn new things! Shahinaz answers.

What do you advise those who are still facing difficulty in finding work?

First, we see that the government is the one who contributes to creating unemployment through the social subsidies it provides to the long-term unemployed. A person must be compelled to find a job and therefore he will look for a job and he will work. Secondly, we advise the newcomer to Sweden to first learn the language, integrate, and if there is no opportunity to get a job, you can take the risk and start your own business.

"I advise all women to go out and work and achieve themselves. You can work while keeping your identity and the culture you come from. The Swedish people respect this, because they also have a culture that they preserve and respect." Shahinaz adds.

Maha Nasser
Så här jobbar Mosaik Vxonews med journalistik. Uppgifter som publiceras ska vara korrekta och relevanta. Vi strävar efter förstahandskällor och att vara på plats där det händer. Trovärdighet och opartiskhet är centrala värden för vår nyhetsjournalistik.