Sham Market opened two years ago, selling Middle Eastern food to Erie's growing immigrant population, and longtime Erie residents as well.

Bassam Dabbah opened the business in 2017 at the urging of other members of Erie's growing Syrian community.

He said, "They love it. they think they are back home. They have everything they need."

That means all sorts of items catering primarily to 
Syrians, Lebanese and other residents with ties to the Middle East. 

Everything from fresh produce to dates and sweets.

Pita break to baklava.

There is even fresh meat and lamb in a cooler. It is halal or blessed.

Bassam says he stocks what his customers want. But running the store has been a challenge.

He said, "Oh, it is really hard to be in the food business. It takes a lot of time, a lot of energy."

Bassam gets a lot of help from his wife and co-owner Nival. She welcomes the customers with Syrian roots but says the store caters to people of many different cultures and backgrounds.

She said, "I have lot of Turkish people, Russian people, American people. They come here."

Filling the shelves is not easy. Bassam has to travel to Detroit every week to get the products for the store.

The business uses a small kitchen to handle catering but soon the kitchen will expand and include a new special oven.