Nestled in the heart of Oakleigh, Bakaliko offers Greek expats a chance to enjoy a taste of home thanks to its gourmet European deli options.
The family-run business sells a range of traditional Greek and Mediterranean delicacies, guaranteed to tantalise the tastebuds.
Since opening two years ago, Bakaliko has built a loyal following of regular customers who love having a friendly banter with the owner and exploring the products on offer.
Specialties include imported nuts, dips and a smorgasbord of delicious European cheeses. A popular choice includes Chelmos Kefalograviera, a firm, flavoursome cheese with a pleasant, salty, nutty flavor, a rich aroma and lingering aftertaste.
“Our cheese sells very well, as do our homemade dips, the raw almonds, and raw walnuts,” said owner Nick Moutzouris.
Bakaliko is the perfect stop-off for some feta, olives and Tsoureki, or sweet bread, before heading to a nearby park to enjoy a picnic and some Mediterranean fare.
There is also a large range of frozen spinach and cheese pastries from Greece on offer, as well as sweets such as Greek chocolate.
Mr Moutzouris has more than 35 years’ experience working in the food industry, in both retail and wholesale capacities.
His energy is as vibrant as the products in his store, and he welcomes every customer like an old friend.
Bakaliko is a family affair – Mr Moutzouris’ wife, sister, nieces and nephews all work in the shop.
The family are proud of their strong sense of community and charitable endeavours, donating hampers to support initiatives such as the Mytilini’s Youth Welfare Organisation.
Mr Moutzouris said he loved going into work each day and seeing the regulars, 70 per cent of whom are of Greek origin.
“Interacting with the customers is great and it makes your job more pleasurable,” he said.
“We’ve got a lot of Greeks who have moved over from Greece in the last couple of years and they walk in and feel like they’re at home.
“They can find all of the specialties they used to buy back home.”
Bakaliko is open Wednesday to Friday, from 7.30am to 5.30pm, and Saturday from 7.30am to 3pm.