Stories about Greek migrants and the shops they operated throughout Brisbane surface almost daily. Ganas’ cake shop, however, has always featured in my mother’s memories of her childhood in Annerley. Hughie Lunn was also familiar with the delights of this shop on Ipswich Road. But I’ll let Perry Ganas tell this story in his own words:
My father and mother, Arthur and Lula Ganas, were Greek immigrants. From 1940 to 1960 they owned a cake shop and milk bar at 470 Ipswich Road Annerley, where my father, a pastry chef by trade, made delectable cakes and pastries. Lamingtons, coconut macaroons, jam tarts, jam rolls, sponge cakes, puff pastries and, at Christmas, fruit cakes were displayed behind a front window and inside a glass counter.
Scones were a favourite of our customers. At 11 am daily, a large tray of scones fresh out of the oven was placed on a table inside the shop so customers could buy them while they were steaming hot. Their aroma was irresistible. The most popular item we sold was not cakes, however, but meat pies. Our meat pies were famous, and they sold like ‘hot cakes’.
Our milk bar offered milk shakes, malted milks, ice cream cones and soft drinks, which provided customers with relief from the heat outside. Another front window displayed confectionery—lollies, chocolates and Easter eggs at Easter time. We also served light refreshments.
Customers could sit at one of four built-in cubicles to enjoy tea and scones or a hot meat pie with a cool soft drink. A sign hanging above one table read Tea Revives You. I often sat at the tables and did my homework.
My parents left the business soon after 1960 and retired to Newcastle in NSW.