Sydney’s longest running delicatessen, Olympic Continental Deli, has closed its doors after 65 years in Bankstown Plaza, the Local News Plus has reported.
Olympic Deli was established by the Karpouzis family in 1956 and has been serving generations of locals in the Canterbury-Bankstown region ever since.
Panagiotis (Peter) Karpouzis migrated to Australia in 1948 from the village of Paleokipos, Lesvos.
He became business partners with Manolis Lagoutaris in a milk bar at Guildford. An opportunity arose to lease premises on Chapel Street, Bankstown, and Manolis and Panagiotis instantly opened Olympic Deli.
At that time, delicatessens were the trojan horse of the Australian cuisine as they initially only imported goods across Europe to cater for the European migrants.
But Manolis and Panagiotis catered for all their customers’ range of needs and tastes, learning how to make small goods, smoke their meats and make their own continental sausages.
Manolis passed away in 1980 and Panagiotis retired four or five years ago, with daughter Joanne at the helm since then.
“I’ve worked here for 30 years and I’m now caring for dad and mum who has dementia,” Joanne told Local News Plus.
“I’ve been in mourning for the shop for a while now because it was getting too much for me. I have a nephew who doesn’t live in Australia but if he did, we may have continued as he loved it. It’s not easy to leave, me and my two sisters were born upstairs, this is our second home. But after working 50 or 60 hours a week, it’s time to say goodbye.
“Also COVID knocked us around last year and we had a big drop in business; most younger people now would rather shop at a supermarket, so it’s definitely time to go.
“Dad, mum, my sisters and myself would like to thank all of our wonderful customers over the years; we will miss you more than you know.”
Source: Local News Plus.