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The “Albanian Athlete” Confectionery, SlatinaCod 1669

The oldest foreign family business in Romania with an uninterrupted activity for 320 years is the Albanian athlete. It belongs to the Memish family, originally from Albania. Memish family history business in Romania, begins 300 years ago. Around 1700, arrived in the Roamanian Country the first Memish, who had as activity the trade of Albanian traditional sweets and drinks. They used to came each summer and spent, only the winters at their home.
Even if it has existed for 300 years, it bears its current name since 1912. In the spring of 1912, a circus came to Slatina in which there was a number of wrestling.
The prize was 300 gold Napoleons. In the competition entered one of the Memish family ancestors, who also won. Out of respect for the city and also for citizens, he donated the money to the City Hall, which, in turn, has offered to his business the name of “Albanian athlete” that works incessantly since then. The business operated nonstop inclusively in the time the King, of Gheorghiu Dej or Ceausescu’s. Moreover, back when Ceausescu was doing his apprenticeship in Slatina, in an cobbler shop near the old building , this one also offered services to Gemal’s grandfather, the nephew of the employer.
The functioning without interruption and the unique charm of Albanians drew great personalities who have crossed their threshold. One of the statements of that time recalls a visit of Charles de Gaulle in Romania which, accompanied by Ceausescu, stopped the the official column to offer him a cup of millet beer from Dad confectionery. Among the big names who have visited the place are mentioned Ion Minulescu, Nicolae Iorga, Eugen Ionescu, Amza Pellea, Nicu Constantin, Doina Badea, Dan Puric, Gheorghe Hagi, James Rosapepe (former Ambassador of the US in Romania), the Ambassador of Albania to Romania, Rodica Popescu Bitănescu, batch junior from Chelsea.
The ” Albanian Athlete” Confectionery looks like a time capsule stuck in the 1950s, the only modern technology being the air conditioning. The refrigerators are filled with millet beer and lemonade bottles, halva, Turkish delight and ice cream, and the walls are filled with newspaper clippings and old photos of famous persons that had crossed the threshold of “millet beer man” from Slatina. All recipes are secrets, in store was never hired anyone from outside the clan, and in the laboratory have access only the family members.
The house specialties are: millet beer , lemonade, ice cream, sarailie, halva, baklava, Turkish delight of rose and with walnuts.
In 2008, the City Hall of Slatina granted the title of honorary citizen of the city to Memish family.

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