Konditorei Damaskus

A Syrian pastry shop

CLUSTER: Migrants’ entrepreneurs and migrant lead businesses

START DATE: June 2016




entrepreneurship, food, refugee

Konditorei Damaskus

whereSonnenallee 93 12045 Berlin Germania


Tamem Al Sakka and his family who received granted refugee status.

7 employees, most of them Syrian refugees.

Food industry


After two and a half years in Berlin, the Syrian family found difficulties to find a job and decided to start a pastry business as they used to have back in Homs.  Al Sakka’s hand crafted pastry products are now popular amongst Syrians who recognize the genuine taste of home as well as Germans and citizens from other nationalities who like their exotic taste.

why it is

This family used their traditional pastry making and business skills to develop their own business in the host city.


Relation with the country of origin:
They make traditional sweets from Syria.
Relation with previous personal competencies/abilities/skills:
For 40 years, making sweets has been a family tradition that has passed from generation to generation. Tamem and his brothers learned from their father the expertise and took over the business when they grew older. They had a shop on Syria and also opened one when they moved to Egypt for a period of two years

Start up

Role of network/community:
A couple of people were key partners in developing their idea, a family friend who lived in Egypt and contributed with financial support, and another friend who had lived in Germany for more than 20 years and spoke the language fluently, therefore helped them with the bureaucratic procedures to start their business. Finally, the community with the use of social networks and advertising by word of mouth played a role in making the business popular.
Relation with the context:
There is a big community of Syrians in Berlin.
Main difficulties/challenges:
Some of the neighbours did not want them to open a Syrian pastry shop because there were already other pastry shops in the neighbourhood.


Main Milestones:
Gaining the approval of the community, finding a location, managing the bureaucratic procedures, and renovating the facilities.
Main difficulties/challenges:
The whole bureaucratic process took around 6 months.


The revenue is reinvested into the business.
9 from Syria who had previous experience. They arrived at the shop asking for a job.


Main Goals/challenges:
They are preparing for their first franchise in Frankfurt, and the opening of a factory in Berlin. Apart from this, they want to open 3 more stores in Berlin.
Critical Factors to manage this challenges:
Financing and bureaucratic procedures.