History of Hafiz Mustafa dates back to the 19th century. There were famous Anatolian confectioners in 19th century Istanbul. Those who came to the capital from the barren towns of Anatolia would probably turn to this branch of profession in solidarity with their fellow countrymen. İsmail Hakkı Bey, who came from the central town of Çankırı, found himself among the confectioners on Hamidiye Street in Bahçekapı, despite his art being a sarraf. In 1864, he began making rock candy in the basement of the building where he had acquired the space; He became the person who introduced and loved pastry to Istanbul people with his sons who helped him in addition to the increasing variety and habit of dessert. Mustafa, one of his sons, helped his father on the one hand and acted as muezzin at the Arpacılar Mosque. The centuries-old flavor and trade tradition has changed in terms of ownership over a hundred years, but the location of the first candy store and the taste left on the palates have never changed.
The shop in Eminönü, one of the few centers that could be called the heart of Istanbul trade, soon began to show itself in the respectable trade records. According to one of them, Annuaire Oriental, İsmail Hakkı was among the confectioners in 1888 in Bahçekapı. To the left and right of the shop were tailors and a watchmaker’s shop. A year later, İsmail Hakkı Bey’s name was registered among the confectioners in Bahçekapı and Alaca Hamam Street. In 1891, the confectionery shop was replaced by a neighbor’s tailor and moved to the shop with the door number. At the beginning of 1902, there were two confectioners named Hacı Mustafa and Hacı İsmail in Bahçekapı.
After these two shops continued until 1921, the brand name began to become increasingly clear: Hacı İsmail Zade Hafız Mustafa. In 1924, Hafız Mustafa showed up in Yerebatan with his other products, which he specialized in over the years. After the pie, another sugar confectioner named İsmail Hakkı was opened in Beyoğlu Dudu Odaları Street. Hafiz Mustafa was not the only one who inherited the inheritance from the father. His other son Ömer Lütfi, like Hafız Mustafa, was in love with the profession. However, it can be understood from the fact that Hafız Mustafa took the surname Kandman and Ömer Lütfi Bey’s surname Cebeci. Already after 1929, the reputation of the shop was fixed with Hafız Mustafa, and it was rarely known as Hafız Mustafa and Mahdumlar as in a 1930 record.
From 1926 to 1938, the Hafiz Mustafa Foundation received eleven awards from international fairs in different cities and countries such as Paris, Brussels and Liege. The Foreign Trade Office, one of the new institutions of the Young Republic, also thanked some companies such as Hafiz Mustafa, who participated in the Bari Oriental Fair in 1932 with an announcement he made to newspapers. In these years, Cemil Bey, the son of Hafız Mustafa, who started to put his weight to the works, pursued a more universal taste. In the days when the cocoa imports were discussed in the newspapers, Hafız Mustafa and Mahdumu’s new brand Cikolat Cemil was born… On the other hand, it was difficult for Cikolat Cemil to pass in front of Hafız Mustafa as both product and brand. Hafiz Mustafa was a well known merchant, even with his daughter’s wedding.
Although Cemil Bey stressed that he was his successor in his announcements, he never gave up his father’s name. During the feast days, which are the most important periods of the year for a confectioner, he said to his customers to buy their Bayram candies from Hafız Mustafa and Mahdum. Tahini and halva seen among the products sold since 1929 was also one of the areas of Hafız Mustafa’s reputation. Cemil Bey was now using his name Cocolat in his announcements to congratulate the feast of his customers: Hafız Mustafa and Mahdumu Cikolat Cemil Greeting Your Feast.
Cemil Bey passed away in 1947 and in the following ten years he was commemorated with the Mawlites taught for him and his father. As of the year he passed away, the Hafız Mustafa business was a well-established company that left behind eighty years. His wife Vasfiye and his grandson Sönmez Kandman were left with the duty of keeping him alive and taking him forward. In 1948, the company’s name and logo were registered in the Official Property Newspaper as Hafız Mustafa’s son Cemil’s successor S. Kandman. Although the new patrons of the candy store preferred to be known as Hafız Mustafa Kandman in their first years, they started to use the name they registered in the following years.
Ms. Vasfiye and Sönmez were aware of the importance of having a long-established business; As a matter of fact, in these years they made a continuous emphasis on history. Advertising slogans were your 94-year confectionery in 1957 and 99 years of experience in 1963. In these years, they were not the only ones promoting the confectionery. Reputable workplaces such as Migros, who are selling Hafız Mustafa products, talked about centuries-old confectionery in their campaigns. Although the product range of the workplace improved considerably, the backbone of the work in the 60s was almond paste, chocolate, pastry and sugar.
The disciplined and beloved bosses of Şekerci Hafiz Mustafa, Sonmez Kandman’s son Mustafa Nihat, handed over the business to him when he grew up. The second Mustafa era, which started in business, continued until 1993 and ended due to Nihat Bey’s interest in other sectors. Mustafa Altuncu, who bought the store, tried to enlarge this historical heritage without touching its roots and spirit. Candidate, who has worn five generations since Hacı İsmail Hakkı, tried to branch with his new owner, but in fourteen years later he met a new investor in 2007: Avni Ongurlar. Esra Dil, an academician who examines Hafiz Mustafa Confectionery as a scientific enterprise, finds that despite the change of hands of the organization, the company maintains its product diversity, production style, brand understanding and staff within the scope of opportunities. Despite these changes, the company maintains its identity as a century-old brand.
Avni Ongurlar, the last exclusive owner of Hafız Mustafa Confectionery, speaks of Hafız Mustafa and Cemil Bey as family members. Hacı Avni Bey, who comes from a different sector such as textiles, sells Hafız Mustafa’s healthiest products at the most affordable price, welcomes and smiles his customers in an emotional harmony with the historical roots of the workplace. That’s probably why Bahçekapı sells 100 donuts in 2007 and today sells 2500, and it’s also included in tourist guides and memorial books written in Spanish and French.
Undoubtedly, one of the most interesting works of Hafiz Mustafa is “Los Secretos de Hafiz Mustafa” (Secrets of Hafiz Mustafa) written by Colombian writer Francisco Leal Quevedo. The author introduces his work as follows: “This book was inspired by an unforgettable place whose reputation is beyond the limits”
Today, Hafız Mustafa has entered the dictionary of Istanbul with its four branches in Taksim, Sultanahmet, Sirkeci and Bahçekapı.27 As an old Istanbulite says, he is famous for his sweet, sugar and pastry as well as his smiling face.
Wherever you are located, if you want to feel yourself just like in Istanbul, you can order Hafiz Mustafa products online from Grand Turkish Bazaar.