Just Teddy is a family-run patisserie and boulangerie in Hyde Park, Johannesburg. The Paris-inspired café unites the family's French and Lebanese heritage in fine pastries such as baklava cheesecake and layered sponge cakes with rosewater and cardamom.
The story of this close-knit family starts with Teddy Zaki, who arrived in South Africa by ship in the 1950s. Zaki was 11 years old when he arrived with his parents and siblings. The family had fled from their home, a small village in Lebanon.
Despite being unable to read and write in English, Teddy Zaki became a successful businessman and property tycoon in Johannesburg. When Zaki died, his son (also Teddy) took over the property business.
Young Teddy Zaki was compelled to run the family business, but his real passion was cooking and baking. As a young boy, he would often feign illness and skip school to bake with his eldest sister at home.
In 2015, his son Jeffrey entered Teddy into The Great South African Bake Off. Audiences fell in love with Zaki's quirky style. He was nicknamed "The King of Bling" for his flashy accessories - gold watches, gold rings, even gold shoes. Zaki made it to the final and,...