From Arab American Journal,
Volume II, Number 14, December 15, 1998
New Yasmeen Bakery Expansion
Draws Praise, Prestigious Awards

by Susan Giffin Allen

        Almost as fast as Hussein Siblini adds a new prepared dish to his growing menu he receives awards for excellence, dedication, and community beautification. In the past week alone, Siblini received the 1998 Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the Arab American & Chaldean Council, a Special Tribute from Michigan's 89th Legislature, and a 1998 Business Award from Dearborn's City Beautiful Commission.

        Always known as the New Yasmeen Bakery, the word "New" takes on greater significance with the recent expansion. No longer just a bakery that features breads and dough-based Arabic pies, New Yasmeen now also accommodates a splendid buffet of hot and cold prepared dishes, French and Middle Eastern sweets, warm roasted nuts and seeds, and, soon, a full-service restaurant complete with wait staff. The Flying Carpet Cafe, for dinners and late night meals, is scheduled to open immediately after Ramadan. True to tradition, New Yasmeen will remain open 24 hours a day during Ramadan.

        The expansion gives New Yasmeen a unique dimension. "People from Europe and the Middle East tell me that they have never seen anything like this," said Siblini, owner and manager. "We have our own style and high quality standards. We provide one-stop shopping, where our customers can carry out lunch and return for dinner in the Cafe."

        The roots of this award-winning establishment are far away in Lebanon where Siblini's father carried on the family's bread-baking tradition. The youngest of eleven children, Siblini, growing up in the midst of the civil war, spent long hours selling his father's bread and tending the shop. By experience, he learned responsibility, self-confidence, and adaptability - virtues that complemented his mother's moral teachings. He pursued a degree in engineering, first in Lebanon and then at Wayne State University.

         Upon graduation, in 1986, he joined his brothers, Mohamad, a third generation bread baker, and Ahmad in their bakery business on Warren Avenue in Dearborn. At the small shop, they took pride in serving fresh, delicious Arabic breads and bread products.

         For Hussein, what began as a short-term commitment to help his family eventually became his own personal passion. He nurtured the family bakery, all the while pursuing a master's degree in computer engineering and undertaking work on his Ph.D.

         What a difference a few years make! Stepping into the new bakery offers a sensory extravaganza. The sight of colorful wall murals by renowned ethnic artist, Patri O'Connor, of Chile, and beautiful food photography by Berkley's Laszlo Regos. The aroma of fresh bread, distinctive herbs and spices, and simmering stews. The sound of people, talking in hushed tones, as they discover this new oasis. The tantalizing taste of tangy tabbouli, crunchy baklawa, and crispy sanbosik. The feel of soft, fresh bread still hot and puffy from the oven.

         It is no surprise, then, that awards are being bestowed on Siblini. The ACC's Entrepreneur of the Year Award was presented to Siblini "in recognition of outstanding dedication and pursuit of excellence that have lead to success."

         The Legislature's Special Tribute, presented by Senator Michael J. Bouchard's (13th District), Assistant Majority Leader, acknowledged the Council's award and added congratulations and expressions of "deepest appreciation for his commitment to excellence in his entrepreneurial endeavors."

         The Dearborn Business Award for 1998, presented by the City of Dearborn and Dearborn's City Beautiful Commission, cites New Yasmeen Bakery for its "outstanding display of community pride."

         Siblini is not one to rest on his laurels, however. He is busy putting the finishing touches on a new section that will offer a wide variety of French pastries and traditional Middle Eastern sweets. He even acquired a highly experienced French pastry chef in the process. Another welcome addition will be the warming cubicles of nuts and seeds that eventually will be roasted on site.
But don't wait for the rest of Yasmeen's services to be in place. Stop by today and taste the difference. Chances are, Hussein Siblini will greet you with a warm smile, almost as if he had nothing else to do.

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