Pizza back on menu in Paeroa
"This room is full of love"JONATHAN CARSON
The memory of murdered Paeroa man Jordan Voudouris was honoured at the re-opening of his iconic pizza and pasta store.
Aside from a few new faces, the popular Mykonos Pizza and Pasta shop looked and felt the way Mr Voudouris left it, customers said on Thursday.
New owner, and long-time friend of Mr Voudouris, Benny Tjan, his grandson Mike Gunawan, and a handful of staff were rushing to get everything ready in time.
‘‘We’ve got to make everything perfect so people will come back, so we can carry on what Jordan started,’’ Mr Gunawan said. ‘‘I’m sure he will be here with us, watching over us.’’
The doors were opened at 5pm and the familiar aroma of pizza spices greeted the early arrivals waiting outside.
‘‘Paeroa needed something; something good, something positive, something familiar,’’ one of the first in line said.
Paeroa College student Tatiana-Marie Taukiri, 17, who was working with Mr Voudouris the night he was killed, took control of the kitchen.
She was hastily teaching the new crew how to roll dough and make pizzas the Mykonos way.
Ross Martindale, a close friend of Mr Voudouris who made a special trip up from Wellington, said it was good to see the store open again. ‘‘This is a room full of love,’’ he said.
The place was humming by 6pm. People reminisced about the last meal Mr Voudouris made for them.
Others whispered, behind cupped hands, about the case to find his killer.
It has been nearly three months since Mr Voudouris was found in a pool of blood after being shot just outside the pizza store’s back door.
‘‘If it was solved maybe we could put it to rest a bit more,’’ Mr Voudouris’ friend Vivien Leonard said.
‘‘It would be good to see someone own up.’’
She said the absence of his iconic pizza shop ‘‘left a gap’’ in the Paeroa community and having it re-opened is what he would have wanted.
‘‘I almost expect to look up and see him,’’ she said. ‘‘He really left a mark.’’
Police Website: http://www.police.govt.nz/olive
- © Fairfax NZ News
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