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Next stop New York as eastern sweet conquers down ...

Next stop New York as eastern sweet conquers down under

The bearded bakers who made Palestinian dessert food popular with Sydneysiders, have expanded to Melbourne and say they are ready to enter the competitive street-food scene in New York.

The Knafeh Bakery, which solely serves knafeh – a Levantine cheese pastry soaked in sweet sugar-based syrup – drew in about 3000 people on St Kilda Road on its second day in Melbourne.

The destination bakery works out of a transformed shipping container-turned-bakery and was initially designed with the US in mind. The mobile bakery for New York has just been completed and a launch may come early next year.

“The street-food scene in the States is massive,” Ameer El-Issa said.

Ameer maintained, however, Sydney has been and will always be the family’s headquarters.

Knafeh Bakery is run by the Australian-Palestinian brothers Ameer and Joey El-Issa, along with their sister and mother. Celebrating Middle Eastern culture, Ameer said the bakery is a legacy of his father’s roots and colourful cultural heritage.

“It’s generated a lot of political and religious attention. Being from a Palestinian family, we didn’t want it to be political. I’m not a political or religious person – I just want to bake knafeh,” he said.


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