After a several year hiatus, my family’s baclawa (think: baklava) business, The Egyptian Confection, is back!
Hi, if you don’t already know me, my name is Amani Loutfy (my first name rhymes with Danny). I'm really excited to bring my family’s sweet legacy to you — just in time for the holidays.
It's hard to talk about the family business without sharing a little of its very romantic backstory.
My parents, Youssef “Joe” and Dorothy, met in December 1951 aboard a ship sailing from New York to Cairo. My dad, a merchant marine from Egypt, was 26 at the time and my mom, a Seattleite, was just 19. Well, a couple of weeks of dark and stormy nights at sea, a stop in Casablanca, and with her hand dramatically to her forehead, Dorothy Clardy declared she was moving to Africa with that handsome sailor, and the rest, as they say, is history.
They moved stateside, to Seattle together in 1962 after Dorothy had had enough of the desert and when Joe, then a decorated Captain on the Suez Canal, was over British bureaucracy. He left his love of the sea behind, knowing he'd have had to start fresh after being the top rung on the ladder in Egypt. In those early years he took odd jobs. He sold insurance, vacuums, whatever it took, before eventually settling into a great gig at Boeing. For his 13 years there, his enormous intellect and talent were recognized as he translated Arabic and designed logos for dignitaries (oh, his stories were great!). Mom also worked at Boeing for a while, as a secretary in the steam turbine division.
At one of our weekly Friday night gatherings at our house, a neighbor suggested, “What about that baclawa you make at Christmas? People love that!” Boom, The Egyptian Confection was born. The business grew, supporting us until he died in 1991.
I grew up baking baclawa. I loved working alongside my dad, long stretches of quiet, or chatting merrily. After he died, my mom kept the business going, but as a seasonal venture. She too has passed away, just this May. I miss them both so much, but I am truly happy to honor my roots and share our delicious treat and history with you. When I refer to 'us,’ and say 'we' are baking, I really mean it. They are with me in the kitchen, every moment.
I really hope that every bite of our baclawa brings you pleasure and comfort, especially in this challenging year.