The Story of Shenkin and our Family
Tzvi Haikin was born in Warsaw, Poland. At the age of 13, his entire family were killed in the holocaust. The only survivor, he ran away to Russia where he was caught and sent to a working camp in Siberia, where temperatures reached -60 degrees. Having lived through some of the toughest times of his life, two years later, he ran away to Persia, where temperatures soared over 40 degrees. From there, he crossed to Egypt and volunteered with the English army (Anders’ army). He was a truck driver and used to move weapons from Egypt to Syria through Israel.
One time he stopped in Israel, he met Miriam Sandler. Miriam’s father’s name was Moshe, he owned a dough factory. It was the first one run with an engine in 1945. Moshe used to make and sell ‘Kvake’ (muesli) to the English army that stayed in Israel and sold them food for their horses. Tzvi fell in love with Miriam and they married and had three children. In 1967, Miriam and Tzvi opened a bakery in Melabis and they called it Miky bakery (short for Miriam).
Their youngest son named Arie Haikin started working in the family business in 1972 when he was 15 years old. He learnt from his dad how to make bread, cakes, pastries and culinary food. When Arie was 46, he decided to move to Australia with his wife Bosmat and their children. He decided to open Shenkin (named after the famous street in Tel Aviv, Israel) on 31st October 2007 and bring the special flavours that he learnt from his parents to the people of Sydney. His children learnt from him hard work ethic, and developed their own passion: for coffee. The brothers pursued their passion and have now taken it to a new level. It is this combination of family history, traditional Middle Eastern food, European pastries and modern flair of coffee that makes Shenkin cafe what it is today.