A SYRIAN sweet shop is leading the revival of a previously “dead” high street, its owner says.

Teba Sweetshop, in Boundary Road, Portslade opened two weeks ago and has already found many fans.

After starting a small grocery shop next door ten years ago, owner Hazem Nassouri is now bringing Syrian and Persian treats to Portslade residents.

His business bought the adjacent shop last year and opened a butcher’s, but now Teba has set its sights on the sweeter side of Syrian cuisine.

Hazem, 32, said Teba is not just a sweet shop but “a way of telling people something different about Syria”.

He said: “When people think of Syria they picture destruction and violence.

“We want to say something different and be an active part of this community.

“Coming into our shop is just like going into a sweet shop in Syria.

“We give you a warm welcome, we offer you samples.

“We’re integrated into Britain but we’re also bringing our own part of Syria with us.”

Hazem said Boundary Road, which connects to Portslade train station, is experiencing a revival.

He said: “I would say about seven or eight years ago you would be scared to walk after 6pm. It was completely dead.

“It’s really lovely now, it’s a proper high street.

“Next door has been renovated, other shops are being renovated across the street, and the fish and chip shop is looking good too.”

Though some may not be familiar with the sweets on offer, Hazem, originally from Syria, said reaction has been “great” among customers.

The shop sells a Syrian take on baklava, as well as authentic cookies and Ramadan dishes.

Hazem added: “We have been getting great feedback, people are happy about having something different to try.

“The reaction from both Syrian people and English people has been great.

“A lot of people come in and think “Wow, there’s something completely different here”.

“We have the Syrian take on baklava, it has a very distinctive taste and look about it.

“We also sell nuts and nougat, that sort of thing.

“It’s really authentic, all freshly made, no preservatives or anything like that.

“We have so many returning customers and they love our food. A lot of them are well-travelled and know these things already.”

Popular Syrian dishes include Barazek cookies, which are biscuits filled with pistachios, sesame seeds, and mahlab spice.

Karabeej Halab are semolina butter biscuits filled with nuts.