Safaa arrived in San Diego in January 2009 with his father, mother, and brother. He has more than 10 years’ experience with his family business back in Iraq. Safaa is a civil engineer by trade. Upon arriving in the United States, Safaa realized that engineering positions were going to be difficult to find, and began studying the market for different business opportunities that would fill the needs of the market. He settled on the idea of opening an Iraqi restaurant for the growing Iraqi population El Cajon. With the assistance of IRC's Microenterprise program, the restaurant opened in the summer of 2011.
Samoon Bakery and Restaurant has been running for less than a year, but has already built a loyal clientele. One of the many reasons for Samoon's success is the inclusion of authentic Iraqi "Samoon" bread, which many Iraqi residents of San Diego would previously have shipped in from across the United States. The restaurant also offers both eastern and western cuisine items, including a wide variety of desserts.
For more information visit the ORR Microenterprise Development Program page.