The Bearded Bakers dance and entertain as they cook in their shipping container kitchen

El Issa Family

Originated Jordan | Knafeh Bakery

Nabila El Issa arrived in Australia at 19 years old, leaving behind a politically charged Jordan. She brought with her a hope for a better life, for more opportunities and a secret recipe.

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The secret recipe to success

Years later, Nabila’s non-traditional take on a middle eastern dessert has taken form as the Knafeh Bakery.

The El Issa family have created a unique business proposition, constantly reinventing the Knafeh experience through new locations and collaborations.

The family, including Nabila, cook for customers, in their pop-up bakery
Really quickly we found how warm Knafeh makes people feel. My mum puts a lot of love into her food which showcases our culture.Ameer El Issa

Starting Over

Together with her sons, Ameer (the ideas man) and Joey (the ‘face’ of the business) the family were able to take a run down business and transform it into a dish with a cult following. After three years of business, Knafeh Bakery has already expanded to three permanent locations, Sydney, Melbourne, and all the way to Brooklyn, New York.

One of the bearded bakers pours knafeh mix into a plate

A band of bearded bakers

The Knafeh Bakery is also unique because of the diversity of their employees. A crew of bearded bakers who hail from Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan and Turkey (to name a few!) are all considered extensions of the El Issa family.

With only one thing on the menu, the boys offer their customers more than just a dessert, but a singing and dancing experience.

36% of migrant business owners believe their cultural background has helped them succeed

Just 9% see it as a barrier


47% of migrant business owners plan on generating higher revenue

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For all media enquiries, including interview opportunities with inspiring migrant business owners, please contact the CGU media hotline: +61 (0) 2 9292 9742