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Baghdad Tower Sweets: Mixing old and new

Owner Ghassan Sewa assists a customer in picking a cake. PHOTO/FALIN HAKEEM

Looking for a place to have great food and a good time? OU News Bureau reporters have visited some distinctive eateries in Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties to learn more about what these places have to offer. Reporter Falin Hakeem visited Baghdad Tower Sweets in Sterling Heights and spoke with owner Ghassan Sewa.

Tell me about the history of this place.
Baghdad Tower Sweets started eight years ago, opening in the year 2000. I have always been interested in opening a business, even when I was living back home in Baghdad, Iraq. I finally decided to open the bakery after a lot of time and consideration, I wanted to open a restaurant at first but thought I’d start off small. I didn’t think Baghdad Tower Sweets would be as successful as it was when it first opened, but I couldn’t do it without the support of my wife, Amel, and my hard-working employees.

Why would someone want to come here?
People want to come here for the authentic, fresh baked goods and different varieties of baklava that are made fresh daily. It makes customers feel nostalgic, like they’re eating a slice of kanafa (a red, flaky, cream-cheese filled baklava). When I am at the bakery I try to get to know my customers and converse with them. Sometimes they’ll give me their opinion on what kinds of baklava flavors or cookies Tower Sweets should try making, such as a chocolate covered lady finger (a rolled baklava made of filo dough, consisting of syrup and filled with crushed pistachios in the center).  

Fresh cookies fill the shelves. PHOTO/FALIN HAKEEM

What do you do that’s different from other places?
We try to make our customers feel like they’re family and we don’t like to take ourselves too seriously. Not to mention we don’t ever use buttercream to frost our cakes. That’s our secret to making them taste the way they do. Our customers love the traditional Middle Eastern fillings (such as apricot and custard mixed with pistachio in yellow cake) but we try to change it up by creating new flavors (such as chocolate-banana). We even get people from places like Georgia, Arizona wanting to place wedding cake orders. Just from word of mouth. Our customers are very loyal to us.

What’s the one thing everyone should order here?
Everything! There isn’t any type of small cake, cookie or baklava that’s as popular as the other. Our customers like to get a variety of different sweets to enjoy for themselves or to take to a family or friend on special occasion. Some people like to mix the cookies with the baklava in their assortment and some prefer it to be strictly baklava. One thing is for sure, they never come in only wanting one of something.

How many people work here?
We keep a close-knit family over here at Tower Sweets. We have two employees who make everything from scratch. It’s me, our baklava and sweets specialist, Fadia and our cake guy, Faris. Both full-time employees who I couldn’t be more thankful for and who have been with me from the very beginning of this journey.

What does the future hold for this place?   
Ice cream machines. We want to hopefully expand the bakery and get some ice cream machines. I’ve been wanting to do it for a year now, but it just hasn’t been the right time yet. I have talked about this idea with a few of our customers and they loved it so it’s definitely in the works for the future.

Baghdad Tower Sweets is at 36870 Ryan Road, Sterling Heights, Michigan, 48310. (586) 983–8794

 

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Posted by on Feb 6 2018. Filed under Eateries. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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