SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – An annual tradition that dates back a century and highlights Shreveport’s Greek history.
Inside St. George Greek Orthodox Church, you’ll find hardworking women serving plates representing their heritage.
“We have the Bakalva that everyone knows about this Greek dessert. We have wedding cookies,” said Julia Petikas, board member of the Ladies Philoptochos Society.
“Kourabiedes, Finikia, Strifta, Tsourekia which is the most wonderful bread. It is a sweet bread and rolls. It’s like a brioche. We have frozen products like Spanakopites and Tiropites which are spinach pies and cheese pies,” said Sophia Duke, president of the Ladies Philoptochos Society.
Every year, the Ladies Philotoches Society comes together to sell their handmade desserts, breads, rolls and Yeeros for the annual Greek Bake Sale.
“You can collect them and have all your baking for Thanksgiving and let us do some of your cooking for a good cause.” They will even stay until Christmas,” Petikas said.
The sweet treats are well received by annual customers.
“It’s a great multinational and international tradition, like Cajun cuisine. Everyone should be exposed to it,” said Mike Broussard, who was collecting pastries.
In keeping with the spirit of the holidays and the church, proceeds will be donated to local and national charities.
“This year the focus of the Philoptochos and the National Philoptochos is the Children’s Medical Fund. So we help children who need medical financing. We feel very honored and proud to contribute,” Duke said.
Duke is the president of the organization who grew up in the church and now oversees its charitable events.
“My grandfather was one of the founders of the church. We are very proud of our church. But you don’t have to be Greek to come to church here,” she said.
She said services are held in English and Greek, and the baking is a great way to expose people to the church’s glorious past.
St. George Greek Orthodox Church is 100 years old. Ms. Duke explains that when Greek immigrants moved to Shreveport in the early 1900s, the women brought their baking skills with them as a means of survival. Now the decadent desserts are teaching the next generation about connections to the culture of their ancestors.
Fundraising orders are pre-set, so you add your name to their mailing list to pick up your order for the next holiday season. You can find a link to the group on Facebook.
The Ladies Philoptochos Society will host Greek Family Meal Night, a drive-thru charity event.