Murdered owner's friend takes over his pizza shop
The Mykono's Pizza and Pasta takeaway in Paeroa will re-open this Thursday, almost three months after the brutal killing of its popular owner Jordan Voudouris.
And in a fitting tribute to the man who loved his friends, family and helping young people, an old friend of Mr Voudouris and their grandson will now be running the legendary pizza shop.
Benny Tjan, 58, knew Mr Voudouris from his days in Auckland.
Mr Tjan and his grandson Mike Gunawan arrived in Paeroa yesterday to run the shop.
"We will be keeping the shop exactly as Jordan left it to honour his memory," Mr Tjan said.
"The same menu, the same pizzas, nothing will be changed.
"It will be hard yes, at the start, because everyone will be talking about Jordan, what happened to him, but we want to fill this place again with happy memories."
Mr Voudouris was found in a pool of blood 15 metres from his home and business and police have since revealed he was shot just outside his back door. A homicide investigation has since been launched.
But all that will be far from the minds of the workers this Thursday, including Paeroa College student Tatiana-Marie Taukiri, 17, who was working with Mr Voudouris the night he was killed.
"I know Jordan will be there, looking over my shoulder like he always did, making sure things are done right," she said.
By chance, Ms Taukiri learned the secrets of Mr Voudouris' famous pizzas.
"He would always make the pizzas except for one time when he had cut his finger open and he showed me how to make them and I did it for a few nights," she said.
Mr Gunawan will be working the cash register and said he was enjoying living in Paeroa.
"It is exciting to be here and to give this shop another chance.
"Now we just need everyone to come and support it."
The first pizzas will be served from 5pm.
Meanwhile police have yet to make an arrest in connection with the killing and continue to ask anyone with information to come forward, in particular anyone who was at the shop on the night of Sunday, June 17, and everyone who was out walking or driving about or through the central area of Paeroa between 10pm on the Sunday and 6am on Monday, June 18.
Police Website: police.govt.nz/olive
June 18 – Jordan Voudouris is found dead outside his home and business Mykonos Pizza and Pasta.
June 19 – Post mortem confirms suspicious death. Community in mourning.
June 20 – Flowers, cards and tributes left outside his business.
June 25 – Children of Jordan Voudouris make emotional public plea for their father's killer to come forward.
June 27 – Paeroa holds public memorial service.
July 11 – Plans underway to establish a Town Trust to keep shop operating in Paeroa.
July 13 – Police walk media through the crime scene in the hope of new information.
September 13 – The shop re-opens.