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.