Scottish success for Syrian bakery

Scottish success for Syrian bakery

Taza Bake, based in Stewartfield, Edinburgh, will expand into a second unit, after experiencing a surge in demand and being added to Heritage Portfolio’s list of corporate event suppliers.

The business, which was launched by Abdullah Razzouk, will now expand into a second unit immediately next door to its current bakery this month, increasing its floor space to 2200sqft.

Although Taza Bake is known for its Khobez, or Syrian bread made to a 5000-year-old recipe, this expansion will allow for a second production line to open making Manakesh, traditional Syrian pies.

Abdullah, who runs his bakery while working full-time in the financial services industry, predicts his six-figure turnover could increase by up to 70% next year if current talks with two leading supermarkets are successful.

He said: “Since launching two years ago, the business has seen demand soar as shops and restaurants respond to customer demand for healthy breads that are chemical-free and freshly stone baked like ours. This process kills off bacteria and yeast and in turn limits bloating and other digestive issues. We’ve also seen an increase in orders from Syrian nationals who have recently arrived in Scotland.

“Although we do distribute our product to Manchester, Liverpool and Newcastle, there is still a huge market here in Scotland and I am working with Business Gateway Edinburgh to plan how best to tap into it. Right from the start Business Gateway has given me invaluable advice, including the market research that not only saved me a lot of time, it gave me the confidence to invest the initial £140k to buy ovens and kick start the bakery. Since then my adviser has connected me with marketing consultants, IT experts and organised a strategy workshop that has helped me move my business forward. Without that input and guidance I would have found setting up much more time consuming.”

Al Bryce, adviser, Business Gateway Edinburgh, said: “By engaging with us at the very start, Abdullah has benefitted from our knowledge and connections to establish and grow his business. The market for the company’s products continues to grow, sparking interest from across the country and into England. As the business expands, undoubtedly it will create more jobs and attract interest for well-known names looking to put its products on the shelves. We will continue to provide Abdullah with guidance and ensure he gains access to further support as and when needed.” 

Having left Syria in 2009, Abdullah worked in corporate finance in Abu Dhabi and Aberdeen before finally settling in Scotland two years later. Missing a taste of home he began searching for producers of Syrian bread finding just three bakeries in London and Manchester that supplied the traditional bread to Scotland.

In 2014, he decided to launch Taza Bake. The following year production began and he sold 500 packets of bread each week. Now the company ships thousands of packets per week, with each packet consisting of five flat breads that are made using no additives or chemicals to restaurants, wholesalers and shops. The firm now employees 14 part-time people.

Brian Canale, Executive Development Chef of Heritage Portfolio said: “We’re delighted to add Taza Bake breads to our corporate offering. The bakery is home-grown and offers such a unique product that we’re sure our conference clients are going to be thrilled.”

Published: 25 September 2017

Article by Ellen McGann
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