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NSW Success Stories – Kepos St Kitchen

Kepos Street Kitchen, RedfernCREDIT: Kepos Street Kitchen

Kepos Street Kitchen mezze box with dips, pita, olives and crudites.

#lovensw #ilovesydney

NSW Success Stories
– Kepos St Kitchen

Kepos Street Kitchen, Redfern CREDIT: Kepos Street Kitchen

Kepos Street Kitchen mezze box with dips, pita, olives and crudites.

#lovensw #ilovesydney

Hashtags #lovensw #ilovesydney

The 2020 Sydney lockdown taught chef Michael Rantissi, owner of Kepos Street Kitchen in Redfern, what customers craved - to shop locally and elevate their at-home dining experience. The lessons he learned have ensured his Middle Eastern restaurant is booming this time around thanks to a new deli, fresh food market and takeaway menu. His approach, of offering customers components of a chef-prepared meal to make at home, has resulted in the deli making up 70 per cent of current profits. Rantissi sells more than 65 fresh items, bringing foot traffic to stock up on dips, marinated olives and Tel Aviv-style falafel. 

“The deli concept kicked off in the first lockdown and, like many things, began by mistake,” he said. While Rantissi had switched to takeaway he hadn’t thought of selling produce. “People started asking, ‘Would you mind packing me up a container of hummus to add to my dinner tonight?” With his fridges overloaded with hummus, olives and other ingredients, he decided to sell this produce to customers.  

“I dragged one of the fridges into the restaurant and packed it with our produce like our beautiful, marinated olives.” Rantissi was stunned at the number of people coming in to grab things from the fridge. “We now sell almost 500 tubs of hummus weekly. It’s become a world of its own. It got us through the first lockdown – it’s definitely getting us through this one.”  

Rantissi’s wife and business partner, Kristy Frawley, has also hosted a series of artisan pop-ups. “We invite a producer or restaurant and create a one-stop shop,” he says. They’ve showcased Brooklyn Boy BagelsPiOik Bakery and Crumpets by Merna. “We are introducing people to a producer and helping them shop local during lockdown.”  

Kepos Street Kitchen, Redfern CREDIT: Kepos Street Kitchen

Front room and deli, Kepos Street Kitchen.

#lovensw #ilovesydney

Kepos Street Kitchen, Redfern CREDIT: Kepos Street Kitchen

Front room and deli, Kepos Street Kitchen.

#lovensw #ilovesydney

Kepos Street Kitchen, Redfern CREDIT: Kepos Street Kitchen

Kepos Street Kitchen deli fridge stocks a selection of signature dips and meals.

#lovensw #ilovesydney

Kepos Street Kitchen, Redfern CREDIT: Kepos Street Kitchen

Kepos Street Kitchen deli fridge stocks a selection of signature dips and meals.

#lovensw #ilovesydney

Shopping small and local is imperative during lockdown so smaller businesses can survive, says Rantissi. “In the first lockdown, my poultry supplier rang and said, ‘I have so many chickens and no one is buying them. Could you?’. I wondered who would buy a raw chicken from my café but said ‘yes’.” He marinated the chickens in 17 ingredients overnight, butterflied and packaged them for roasting at home. “We sell up to 500 of those a week.” 

Kepos Street Kitchen opened with an elegant aesthetic and game-changing breakfast menu of falafel and shakshuka.  

Rantissi, who was born in Tel Aviv and is passionate about the city’s street food, included falafel and shakshuka on the menu when he opened the restaurant 10 years ago. While he once thought no one would eat Middle Eastern cuisine for breakfast, Kepos Street Kitchen has evolved the way Sydneysiders brunch and has been busy ever since.  

“In lockdown, it’s been a new busy that none of us expected. What Kepos Street Kitchen brings is a range of food cooked by chefs, ingredients from artisan producers and value for money.” Whether it’s falafel for breakfast or Rantissi’s go-to dinner of za'atar chicken, cauliflower salad and pita, he wants people to create their favourite meal from Kepos – “Food is so personal. If you enjoy it – it doesn’t matter what it is.” 

Kepos Street Kitchen, Redfern CREDIT: Kepos Street Kitchen

The Kepos Street Kitchen mezze box is available to order online.

#lovensw #ilovesydney

Kepos Street Kitchen, Redfern CREDIT: Kepos Street Kitchen

The Kepos Street Kitchen mezze box is available to order online.

#lovensw #ilovesydney

Kepos Street Kitchen, Redfern CREDIT: Kepos Street Kitchen

Kepos Street Kitchen's mezze box, a great option for picnics.

#lovensw #ilovesydney

Kepos Street Kitchen, Redfern CREDIT: Kepos Street Kitchen

Kepos Street Kitchen's mezze box, a great option for picnics.

#lovensw #ilovesydney

keposstreetkitchen.com.au 
Instagram: instagram.com/keposstreetkitchen
Facebook: facebook.com/KeposStreetKitchen 

For more information on things to see and do in Sydney go to www.sydney.com 

Share your favourite holidays in Sydney and NSW on social media using @sydney #ilovesydney @visitnsw #lovensw. 

The NSW Government via Destination NSW is sharing a series of NSW Success Stories – businesses of all types that have adapted their offerings to face the current environment and continue serving their community with a fresh approach and shining success. These innovative initiatives are nothing short of inspiring.  

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