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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 2 May 2015
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 2 MAY 2015 23 BUSINESS Christopher’s Cake Shop One of Australia’s oldest cake shops, treating Sydney with sweets made with love since 1955 NELLY SKOUFATOGLOU In business for over 60 years, Christopher's Cake Shop has proudly served the community its traditional and contemporary cakes and sweets. In 1955, Chris Koumi opened the Athens Cake Shop at 409 Bourke Street Surry Hills. It was the first Greek cake shop in Sydney, if not in Australia. It was a well-run business that supplied Sydney with some of the best sweets and cakes, loved not only by the Greek community, but Australians as well. Meanwhile, Andrea Vasiliou, an 11-year-old girl, migrated from Cyprus to Australia to meet her father for the first time. A year later, 12-year-oldChristopher Panayi, another Cypriot, drops out of school to support his family and eventually gets a job in Ariston Cake shop, Lefkosia. In 1972, Andrea travels all the way back to her birthplace in Cyprus and ends up purchasing some traditional sweets at Ariston Cake Shop. Christopher spots the beau- tiful Australian woman and offers her an ice cream. It’s love at first sight. Three months later they are engaged, married and moved to Australia to start a new life together. On arriving in Sydney Christopher is offered the pastry chef position at Athens Cake shop. Four years later, in 1976, he partners with fellow Cypriot Fano Papcharalambous and buys the Athens Cake Shop from Chris Koumi and 11 years later obtains full ownership. In 1990 Christopher is joined in the shop first by his eldest son, Peter, followed by Kyriakos in 1991 and finally his youngest son Anthony, in 1998. It wasn't until 2001 that 'Athenaiko' was dropped from the name and the store was named after him, becoming Christopher's Cake Shop. "I'm 38 and I've been working here since 1991," Kyriako Panayi, Christopher's son, tells Neos Kosmos. "I feel extremely proud to be continuing the family's tradition in the pastry-making Kyriakos Panayi with the caramel nutella cake at Christopher’s Cake Shop. PHOTO: DANNY AARONS/DAILY TELEGRAPH. business, even though the cake industry has changed a lot." "All the bread shops, cake shops, pastry shops are driven into combined businesses, entering supermarkets and end up losing their unique identity," he admits. Kyriako insists that if Christopher's Cake Shop was to do that, it would be competing with mega-brands and widely advertised products. "There are a couple of lines we run that one can also find in supermarkets," he says. "We realised that no matter what you do, how well you do it, you can't beat that. “You can't beat the speed and outsources, so we decid- ed to maintain our authenticity but at the same time we keep evolving." Kyriako and his brothers are in fact considering expanding, as they have only recently added two more shops in their Sydney range; however, there is no plan for fast expansion, as they would like to hold on to the ownership of the stores. "It is essential to our identity and our devotion to our customers to preserve the flavour, freshness and quality of our cakes and sweets," he stresses. "If we were to attempt fast expansion, which we could, it is most likely that we would have to sacrifice our products Christopher’s kitchen, back in the day. as there are over 160 different lines of products we make." "Such a decision would definitely damage the stores. We are not a fast-food chain." We have an essential kitchen where we manufacture everything at our head office and we supply all our branches. At Christopher's Cake Shop the pastry chefs make everything themselves from scratch recipes, as opposed to widely-known brands in the field owning multiple stores, who outsource some of their goods. "Even though we've become larger scale we tend to believe that manufacturers who go into mass production are somewhat forced to use pre- mixed stuff, quick-mix custards, etc., while we maintain authentic recipes." "Before we moved into our new kitchen in December last year we did research on machinery that would help us do our job easily and deliver more products without compromising our quality," Kyriako explains. "We also make traditional Greek recipes, as we always try to draw inspiration for travelling, people we come across and add home made style sweets in our large scale production, testing first-hand what works for our customers." * For more information, go to www.christopherscakeshop. com.au Economy can’t handle so many public holidays Shadow Treasurer Michael O’Brien says Victoria’s economy isn’t rich enough to allow for so many public holidays HELEN VELISSARIS The state of Victoria has the highest number of public holidays in the country, and Shadow Treasurer Michael O'Brien says it's hurting the economy. Amid huge numbers of businesses closing shop on Easter Sunday after they argued it would be unprofitable to pay staff double time and a half, Mr O'Brien says adding AFL Grand Final day eve as a public holiday is adding insult to injury. "I don't think the Labor government thought this through," he tells Neos Kosmos. public holiday. "On grand final eve, you'd see Collins Street full of people, coming to town, cheering for their team and wearing their team colours - there was a great feeling. "If it's a public holiday, people will stay at home." The AFL is considering moving the parade away from the CBD due to the lack of workers caused by the public holiday, with locations like Yarra Park and St Kilda being considered as options. A number of grand final eve events, luncheons, and hundreds of smaller functions and those around the MCG will all be affected by the Premier Daniel Andrews says he is confident the public holiday will encourage people from rural areas and outer suburbs to venture into the city, and says the lack of city workers won't be an issue. "I think there are going to be many, many people coming into the city, perhaps from the regions, from the suburbs with their kids ... because of the public holiday, [and] be involved in what will be a fantastic event," Mr Andrews said. Mr O'Brien argues that the government needs to be encouraging businesses to be open and keep on staff during high peak periods, in return feeding the economy and tourism these big events bring. "We need to be encouraging businesses to grow in this state," he says. "If you think that we are rich enough that we can afford to have more public holidays than any other state in the country, if you think that things are so great, that there aren't enough problems to put people into work, that we can afford to shut down businesses on these days and put people out of work, then you'll probably support what Labor’s doing." The Victorian Employers' Chamber of Commerce and Industry has estimated the public holiday on grand final eve will cost the state at least $500 million. Will crowds flock to the AFL grand final parade on a public holiday? PHOTO: AAP/MAL FAIRCLOUGH.
25 April 2015
9 May 2015