Tuesday, 23 August 2016 19:00

Sweet changes

The owners of Petit Paris The owners of Petit Paris

The brothers Andreas and Theodoros Charalambous are in a ‘strange place’ as Andreas describes it. After running the legendary café and patisserie Petit Paris near Limassol’s Pentadromos for 52 years, working 364 days each year, they are tired and ready to stop. Yet, the shop, their pastries, their customers have been so much part of their life; they cannot imagine it without them.

In an attempt to find the right person to carry on their trade, they have put up a simple sign in their shop saying ‘Business for Sale’. Even though the two gentlemen are not on Facebook, the news was distorted and went viral. Throughout their interview with The Cyprus Weekly, customers kept asking: “Why are you closing? We read it on Facebook!”

“We are not closing!” they kept clarifying.

“We are ready to pass on our business, our recipes and our clientele to the right person. Whenever that time may come, we are ready.”

Fond memories of the heydays
The cafe’s location, Gladstonos street, used to be a pedestrian area during the evenings. With several cinemas nearby, it used to be the venue for many romantic rendezvous and many of those couples, today married, still come by, as do their grown children and often grand children. Many customers have their favourite sweets which they’ve been buying for 30, 40, 50 years. Especially their ‘ergolavos’, traditional sweets usually offered at family celebrations, and the patisserie’s very own chocolate cake is popular. The delivery man bringing eggs remembered first delivering with a bicycle with a big basket in front in the 60s.

Nowadays, the place works mostly with takeaway as families pick up sweets for celebrations and festive meals. The brothers used to cater for big weddings, but had to stop as they could no longer manage the load.

Authentic recipes part of the deal
They still insist on making everything from scratch. “We know many people use powdered ingredients these days, but we use only pure ingredients and still whip our own cream and melt our own chocolate. This is why our sweets taste different,” explains Andreas. “Those 50-year old, original recipes make the place what it is today.”

And the two brothers are willing to pass them on along with the business to assure its continued success. After having kept customers coming for more for half a century, these recipes can certainly be called ‘tried and tested’ and one can only hope that a new owner will be found to carry forth the sweet tradition.

Andreas and Theodoros Charalambous can be contacted at 25 363 441.

Article as published in The Cyprus Weekly of August 5th 2016 

Mary Anglberger

I’ve been travelling the world for over 20 years teaching English and am now taking time to follow my passion for photography and writing. I want to share all the things, events and people that have inspired and inspire me and spread those positive vibes all around.

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