Yasar Halim has passed away at the age of 77, Halim the Turkish Cypriot businessman who founded the well known Yasar Halim supermarket which opened in 1981 and is said to be the ‘first’ Turkish supermarket and patisserie.
It was announced that the 77-year-old famous marketer died at The Whittington Hospital this morning (Tuesday). Halim, who has been struggling with health problems for a while, is expected to be buried in London in the coming days.
In Faruk Eskioğlu’s “The community from Turkey and North Cyprus in the UK” (Londra’da Bizim Kilker) book, Halim’s biography was conveyed with the title “Leader of Groceries in Society” as follows:
“Yasar Halim, the most recognized brand of the Turkish and Turkish Cypriot community in Haringay said. Yaşar Halim, who is of Cypriot origin, can be considered as the first example of both the street and the supermarkets after him with the market concept that sells bakery, patisserie, vegetable shop, butcher and grocery products.
Yasar Halim with “495-497 Green Lanes, London N4 1AL” address in Cyprus and Turkey from virtually every supermarket product that’s located in an unassuming office were conversing.
Halim says that a blind midwife in Nicosia, Cyprus, has given birth to him on the bread tray and therefore has been dealing with the dough all his life. Indicating that his father was engaged in farmer and mother’s garden work, Halim’s primary school life was very bright, even when he is in the 4th grade, he received an award from the Queen.
“They did not send them to school because they would deteriorate at the time,” said Halim, explaining that he worked as a gardener, construction worker after primary school and that he sold a lot of vegetables and fruits on donkeys.
When he was18, he decides to come to London when he cannot agree with his father. In 1962, with the ship he took from Israel, he reached Italy, Spain, and then France and London to Victoria. He found his half-brother who was 10 years older than him Living in a kitchen of a house for £ 2.5 a week on Stoke Newington, Halim said that there were around 1,500-2,000 Turks concentrated in Angel, Newington Green and Essex Road in London in those years, most of them worked in bottles, tire factories, textile workshops or cafe-restaurant chain named “Lion”, was the first to do dishwashing on the boat. Halim worked for 5 years in “Pitas” patisserie at Dumington Road in Stoke Newington and 14 years in PSP Patissiere in Kentish Town.
Halim, who learned English and Greek fluently as well as the delicacies of the profession in the patisserie of Greek bosses, was also included in many British cookbooks with cake and cake recipes in those years.
Halim, stating that the Turkish style baklava and cakes, which are a different taste from the apple pie in the English cuisine, attracted a lot of attention. “That flavour was very different. ”
Yaşar Halim, who opened a bakery/patisserie in Green Lanes on January 26, 1987 while he was at the peak of his profession, explains the photograph of the street at that time:
“Greek Cypriots lived intensely on the streets leading up to the street… In the street, there were 4-5 bread ovens besides Grocery Zühtüler and Grocery Hasan, Coiffeur Şefik. In those years, the tradesmen were afraid of the Turkish signboard. I used my name. I started with baklava and pastry varieties. We started making bread 3 months later. We produced bread made in a stone oven… Warm bread attracted the nation with its smell. No added additives, no sugar, and very little yeast. Yaşar Halim became the meeting point. We bought the side shop in a short time and put it into operation as a cafê and restaurant, but 2 years later, we transformed Cyprus vegetables and fruits into a market that sold them and combined them with bakeries and patisseries. Thus for the first time, reflecting the food culture in London, Cyprus and Turkey, bakeries, greengrocer, the butcher and grocery store is a combination of the concepts we have established … ”
Halim, who married in 1961 to his late wife Cemaliye, has two children, Yeşim (1964) and Mehmet (1969), along with with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
As the Londra Gazete, we send our condolence his family and friends.