“Baking bread has been in my blood since I was a child in Lebanon. I worked baking bread with my mother. We didn't have the supply of yeast that we have today, so we made a starter, called "khameeri“, by bundling up a sample of dough and letting it ferment from natural organisms over seven days. We used part of the khameeri to make the bread and saved some to grow another starter. Now we bake pita in our two large factories. But I am still in touch with it, as I was years ago. We have strict, technical quality control, but beyond that, the texture, the fragrance of yeast, the freshness and lightness of the pita must satisfy my own senses and live up to my traditional flavor memories. My food distribution experience also goes back to Lebanon in the 1930’s. Our family was in the fruit business. My own first work was selling lentils, chick peas and fava beans. I found that beans grown on more favorable land would cook more easily and I sourced them for distribution. After emigrating, I studied engineering and taught math. But the food business was my first love. I opened a store in Windsor, and later built a fresh juice business. At one point, we had 40% of the juice business in Toronto. In 1981, I bought the Mediterranean Bakery and returned to my roots, working with fresh, fragrant dough. The bakery did only $100,000 in sales. Now our plants are doing a very large volume annually and we are, once again, significant players in our industry.”
For founder George Haddad,
baking pita has deep roots.