Much-loved food retailer returns after shock closure
A staple of north Brisbane dining culture which disappeared for more than a year is back in business.
Nundah food icon Mary Kios closed the doors to her 12-year-old deli at Toombul shopping centre in January 2019 much to the devastation of her legion of customers.
But after relentless enquiries from patrons about where she would go to next, she launched a new-look deli at Stafford last week.
The store has seen the return of Ms Kios' extensive range of Mediterranean foods including charcuterie meats and boutique cheeses and gourmet condiments, and importantly he famous home-cooked sauces and stocks.
"In all that time I was closed I had customers constantly calling me, asking me if I had found a new site yet," Ms Kios said.
"I would go shopping (and people would stop me), it was the most amazing thing I've ever seen."
She said she decided to make the move to the 240 Stafford Rd, Stafford after she was approached by facility managers to take up a tenancy.
"For the 18 months I didn't have my shop I wasn't happy.
"All I wanted to do was go back... your customers become your family."
She's been open for barely a week and already she says she has been "inundated".
"I'm seeing a lot new (customers), but a lot of old ones too.
"It's wonderful, I'm alive.
"This is my life."
She said she was excited to create a "delightful epicurean ambience with all the high quality selections of local and international foods I previously enjoyed trading".
"I plan to also incorporate Indigenous foods to the extensive new and old favourites menu.
"After a short opening and settling in period cheese and wine tastings, featuring both imported and local products, will be a regular feature."
A daughter of Greek migrant parents, Ms Kios learnt the secret to incomparable customer service from a young agae.
"My parents' first business was in Kelvin Grove," she said, reflecting on the general store which they opened in 1954 - which then included a milk bar, snack bar, lolly counter and a host of groceries.
"I moved into corporate catering in August 1974 when the industry was still in its infancy."
Mary K Catering, she said, served prime minsters, cabinet ministers, lord mayors, property developers, banks and rock stars as well as corporate heads.
"A development of all the boardroom lunches and cocktail parties we catered for saw us as the exclusive caterers for Queensland Newspapers in their Expo 88 pavilion."
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Originally published as Much-loved Brisbane food retailer returns after shock closure