'Gone but not forgotten'

Kate Wright from NZ City Life writes, "Miramar has lost an iconic business. Loukoumi, which has operated in Miramar since 1980, has moved to Ngauranga to continue making its Greek version of what the world traditionally recognise as Turkish delight. Owners Ross and Trish McKenzie bought the business from the Stavris family four years ago. Although familiar with the product..." click on image to read more.

Secret recipe?

image showing old shop signOur products are based on an original recipe brought to New Zealand by a Romanian migrant family fleeing Communist persecution in Europe. The father was given it by a confectioner friend who said that it might be something to fall back on in his new life. This secret recipe was handed down to family members and when we bought Loukoumi we inherited the knowledge.

Fit for a harem?

image showing man holding a womanLegend has it that in his endeavour to cope with all his wives and mistresses, a Turkish Sultan summoned the greatest confectioners in the empire and ordered them to produce a unique dessert, that could quell the rumblings of discontent within his harem. And so, as the result of extensive search, 'lokum', better known today as 'Turkish Delight', was born.

'Dainty Delight'

image showing newspaper articleMike White from NZ North and South Magazine writes, "Bubble, bubble, Turkish toil and trouble. Mid-Winter 2004, Ross and Trish McKenzie stood staring grimly at a bubbling caudron of sticky sludge wondering what on earth they'd got themselves into. They'd taken over the Loukoumi Turkish delight business a year before, a tiny Wellington operation in suburban Miramir sandwiched between an old upholstery store and a Chinese takeaway..." click on image to read more.

Gourmet Range packaging

image showing product packagingWe felt a new range deserved a new look. Our designers developed a graphic style that is modern and fresh with a hint of tradition.... just like our new flavours. Their starting point was an amber honeycombed background and complimentary flavour colours. As we introduced the stronger Manuka honey flavours the background in turn became darker.

Trip to Istanbul

image showing fruit marketAs part of our research into recipes and cooking techniques we packed our suitcases and headed for Turkey. We spent several days exploring Istanbul trying to hunt out the perfect Turkish Delight and see how ours stood up. We were really disappointed to find most of what was on offer was mass produced, bland and stuffed with artificial ingredients. Despite the lack of true artisans we talked with as many people as we could and let them taste some samples. To our delight, we discovered that the taste and texture of our Loukoumi evoked childhood memories of 'how it used to be'. A fascinating place to visit and explore.

'Delight in their work'

Margaret Brooker from NZ Dompost writes "As you bite into a soft cube of loukoumi, icing sugar powdering everything within range, you wouldn't imagine that something so seemingly simple could be so complex. Loukoumi, Lokum, or loucoum, as it is variously known in Greece and Turkey, may be more familiar to us as Turkish Delight. But this type of Turkish Delight is not..." click on image to read more.

Meet Ross and Trish

image showing man and womanHello, we are Ross and Trish McKenzie and we the owners of Loukoumi. We bought the business in July 2003, it was an impulse thing really, we were looking for a new challenge, and it we haven't been disappointed! The company Loukoumi was started in 1970 by the Palamidas family. Rather than the normal seven year apprenticeship we had to learn the whole process in 3 months. Nadia Palamidas' children Nick and Christina were our guides, teaching us the essential cooking and cutting techniques.