My name is Arne Skinlo and I love to take pictures and make stories from the places I visit. I am Norwegian, but we have an apartment in Gerouskipou, close to Paphos on Cyprus. Here I walk around and talk to people and find stories. This quiet village has one attraction that is not very visible at first sight; namely loukoumia, a sweet made of sugar with many flavors and ingredients.
In this presentation I will let you in to one shop making their own loukoumia in the old traditional way like it was done in 1895. Actually, it was the grandfather of the present owner, Anthoula Gavriel, who started the loukoumia production on Cyprus.
Before we start, I will present you to the village Geroskipou. The center has a big square that is a gathering place for the village people, specially in the evenings. Close to the square is Agia Paraskevi, one of the most interesting Byzantine churches on the island.
Agia Paraskevi, a Byzantine church built in the 9th century
Geroskipou is also known for its culture and art. Paphos which Geroskipou is a part of, was Culture Capital in 2017.
From the sculpture park in Geroskipou
Now I will tell you the history of loukoumia in Geroskipou. First I will introduce you to the present owner Anthoula Gavriel. She has been in charge of the shop and factory since 1964.
It all started with Sofoklis Athanasiou in 1895. He had been in Switzerland and had aquired knowledge of how to make loukoumia and other sweets. He opened a small workshop behind his parents house next to the Geroskipou square. With time his sweets became synonymous with Geroskipou.
In 1920 Sofoklis passed the business over to his daughter Charikla and her husband Gavriel. Their four children took over in 1964 and divided the business into four separate units. The four shops are located beside each other at the same place as it all started in 1895. In the following we shall follow Anthoula`s business.