Our business began as Syrian Bakery & Grocery, Inc. founded in 1966 by Ahmad and Ibrahim Ziyad, as a small retail outlet on the Southside of Chicago. We specialized in Artisanal hand-made pita bread and other bakery goods as well as a few, hard to find Middle Eastern products, it was the first Pita Bread bakery in Chicago.
Our expansion to a new warehouse located at 21st and Western Avenue allowed us to serve retail chains in the Midwest including Jewel, Dominick’s, and ethnic markets. We developed the first automated pita bakery in the Midwest. Production continued to expand, and procurement of new products from the Middle East soared. Ahmad grew the business’ sales while Ibrahim focused on sourcing and developing new products. With distribution growing to 20 states, an additional warehouse was purchased to hold our growing inventory. As we expanded into markets beyond the Midwest, we emerged as the “Go-To” for Middle Eastern foods. We began to import greater varieties of products for our community.
In 1995, we acquired a new 150,000 sq. ft. facility in Cicero, IL. which continues to serve as our company’s headquarters. Our team doubled as we included a sales and marketing force and we built a distribution model to incorporate Middle Eastern groceries to mainstream retailers across the United States. We began to exhibit at trade shows to introduce our product line to both retailers and non-ethnic consumers. In 1996 we suffered the loss of our beloved founder and patriarch, Ahmad Ziyad.
In addition to the Cicero warehouse, we expanded our distribution network by procuring warehouses in both the New York and Los Angeles metropolitan areas. Today we import and distribute over 1,500 items across all of North America, Central America and the Caribbean. Our portfolio of pantry items includes dozens of brands across every aisle of the grocery store. We strive to develop innovative products and seek quality ingredients for growing trends and globally inspired dishes.
And to think, it all started with some tasty bread.
Ibrahim Ziyad serve the role of President. Nemer Ziyad serve as Chief Executive Officer, Nassem Ziyad serve as Chief Operating Officer, Nazmy Ziyad serve as VP of Operations, and Nezar Ziyad serve as VP of Marketing.