Paramount Fine Foods CEO offers to help Syrian restaurant reopen in Toronto
The CEO of Paramount Fine Foods has offered to help the owners of a popular Syrian restaurant in Toronto reopen, after owners of the establishment permanently shut it down because of death threats. A well-known restaurant in Queen West, Soufi’s was operated by a Syrian family who recently immigrated to Canada. They announced yesterday it would be permanently closed “in an effort to maintain our family and staff’s safety.”
A statement posted on Soufi’s Instagram account stated, “As a result of numerous hate messages & death threats we’ve received over the past week, we’ve decided to permanently close our shop. Our decision is made with a heavy heart in an effort to maintain our family and staff’s safety.” They added, “We are heartbroken about having to make this decision; however, we could not put our family members, staff, and patrons in danger. The magnitude of hate we are facing is overwhelming.”
Today, it was reported that Paramount Fine Foods founder and CEO Mohamad Fakih spoke with a member of the Soufi family and offered to help them reopen. Fakih tweeted, “Hate messages & death threats sent to refugee immigrants is absolutely unacceptable. The extra legal funds needed to defend their rights is unnecessary, burdens them with another challenge. We need to keep Canada welcoming.”
He said he has offered to pay for security to protect the Alsoufi family and their staff. He said he would also consider sending a team of his employees to operate the store under the Soufi’s name. Fakih said he was hoping to speak with the family again and arrange a meeting to discuss the possibilities.
Soufi’s came under fire last week after the owners’ son became involved in an incident outside of a fundraiser in Hamilton for Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party of Canada (PPC).