Syrian refugees open patisserie in Rothesay

The opening of a new business in Rothesay, Helmi's Pattiserie. L-R: Bashar Helmi, Michael Russell MSP, Morag Brown. Photo by Iain Cochrane.
The opening of a new business in Rothesay, Helmi's Pattiserie. L-R: Bashar Helmi, Michael Russell MSP, Morag Brown. Photo by Iain Cochrane.

Father and son-in-law Syrian refugees living on Bute were blown away by locals’ response to their new patisserie bakery last weekend.

Bashar Helmi and his son-in-law Mohamed Helmi opened Helmi’s Patisserie at 26 Princess Street in Rothesay last Sunday.

Bashar Helmi of  Helmi's Pattiserie. Photo by Iain Cochrane.

Bashar Helmi of Helmi's Pattiserie. Photo by Iain Cochrane.

Within two hours of opening their doors they were sold out of tasty treats, which were eagerly snapped up by locals.

A packed store saw dozens of customers tuck into sweets, cakes, pastries and savouries.

Bashar, who manages Helmi’s, was delighted with the first day of business at the shop.

He said: “I couldn’t believe we were sold out so quickly. I hope everyday is like this!

Some of the treats on offer at Helmi's Pattiserie in Rothesay.

Some of the treats on offer at Helmi's Pattiserie in Rothesay.

“It’s a very good start for us.”

With Bashar in charge, Mohamed is responsible for creating all the tasty goods.

Bashar added: “My son-in law ran a patisserie in Syria for 16 years, so we are delighted to have opened this patisserie here in Rothesay.”

The latest business owners on Bute have settled in nicely to life on the island since fleeing war in their homeland.

“I have been here on Bute for two years and six months now,” said Bashar.

“I have settled in. It’s home now. I have been made to feel very welcome here.”

Among those in attendance at the launch of Helmi’s Patisserie in Rothesay were local MSP Michael Russell (SNP) and Refugee Resettlement Group member Morag Brown.