One of our most loved Dandenong Market traders is Rhonda Tannous from Why Not? Wooden Bakery. Learn of the wonderful story behind the success and popularity of her business and what drives her to become bigger and better.
Born in Dandenong Hospital to Lebanese parents, Rhonda met her husband and business partner Kamil when she was just 14 years old while on holiday in Lebanon. Prior to moving to Australia and marrying Rhonda, Kamil worked as a Doctor in Biology and an aluminium fabricator. But, it was working in a Lebanese bakery with Rhonda that made him happiest and the pair started dreaming of opening up a business together.
Rhonda’s first introduction to Dandenong Market was working in her cousin’s pizza shop. While working here, she realised the lack of traditional Lebanese food she grew up with. With relevant experience at the bakery and a gap in the market, the pair took the leap, setting up shop and bringing their love of Lebanese food to the Dandenong community.
Rhonda’s passion for cooking originates from her grandmother who loved cooking traditional Lebanese dishes. Kamil’s father is also a chef, but he learned to cook while at the bakery in Australia.
Rhonda attributes her success to the fact that she loves engaging with people. “I love to talk and I cook with love,” said Rhonda. She would not sell food to anyone that she herself would not eat.
With many regular customers from as far away as Rye, Dromana, Seaford and Frankston, Rhonda and Kamil have become well known within the Lebanese community and Why Not? Wooden Bakery has made quite the name for itself.
Dedicated to hard work and success, Rhonda arrives at the Market in the early hours of the morning, starting the preparation and baking of her traditional Lebanese pizza and pastries. Popular meals include Zaatar and her traditional Lebanese meat pizzas.
Why Not? Wooden Bakery’s stocks Middle Eastern groceries such as rose water and pomegranate syrup to tahini. Find halloumi, kibbeh (football-shaped patties of mince and pine nuts) and cans of alcohol-free beer in the fridge too!
On Market days, Brunwick’s Balha’s Pastry delivers freshly made sweets such as knefeh, a semolina-biscuit sandwich filled with clotted cream and drizzled with syrup sugar.
Why Not? Wooden Bakery can be found at W05 in the Meat, Fish & Deli Hall.