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Sugar Daddy’s in AdMo is first outpost of Middle Eastern sweets shop

Mousa Ghannam vigorously wiped down a glass tabletop in the main window of his month-old Adams Morgan bakery, Sugar Daddy’s.
“How did you like the date cupcake?” he asked a reporter. “The Middle Easterners love their sweets. They can eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner.”
So can the Americans, of course.
Ghannam, 34, an Arlington native of Palestinian extraction, is at home in both worlds. December 29, 2013, was opening day for Sugar Daddy’s, the first stateside franchise of a company that got its sweet start in Jordan (two other shops have since opened in Lebanon). Sugar Daddy’s founder, Sadi Jaber, 36, is a close friend of Ghannam’s and a D.C. resident.
“It’s been an amazing first three weeks,” said Ghannam, the general manager of the D.C. store and a food service veteran. “We have gotten to meet many of the neighbors who live and work so close to us.”
In a city clogged with cupcakes, how does Sugar Daddy’s expect to stand out?
“We’re not your typical cupcake shop,” Ghannam says. “Other places in town sell only cupcakes, but we offer brownies and cakes and pies and special orders. We have cappuccinos and coffee. When people come in, it feels like a living room, but we also deliver.”
Some of the items on offer at Sugar Daddy’s have a distinctly Middle Eastern flair, such as the aforementioned date cupcake, studded with moist date chunks and crowned with a swirl of cinnamon frosting. There’s a layer cake version available, too.
Mousa’s uncle, Khalil Ghannam, owns Pound the Hill. At least seven other family members have ties to the food and beverage world.
As far as a potential second stake in American soil for the franchise, Ghannam admits “I have my eye and my heart on Arlington.” He is thrilled to be in AdMo, a favorite hangout when he was still a student at Northern Virginia Community College.
“This is a hip and wonderful community,” he says. “We love the vibe and everything it stands for.”

Read more articles by Amy Rogers Nazarov.

Amy Rogers Nazarov is a Washington, D.C.-based journalist with more than 25 years experience as a staff reporter and a freelance writer, covering technology, adoption, real estate, and lifestyle topics from food & drink to home organizing. Her byline has appeared in Cooking Light, The Washington Post, Slate, Washingtonian, The Writer, Smithsonian, The Washington Post Express, The Baltimore Examiner, The Sacramento Bee, Cure, The Washington Times, Museum, and many other outlets. She is a member of the American Society of Journalists & Authors and tweets at @WordKitchenDC.
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