A Manti to Remember

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By Aida Zilelian

LONG ISLAND, N.Y. — It seems dreams — especially those of manti, at least — can come true.

“Something I dreamt about for the last 35 years is finally coming to fruition,” said Hilda Apikoglu. She is the owner of Medz-Mom’s Manti, a family-owned enterprise Hilda and her daughters, Janine and Najda, always talked about.

Hilda, center, with her daughters, Janine and Najda

“Life got in the way,” said Hilda, “but I always hoped there would come a time when my daughters and I could make traditional manti accessible for mass distribution.”

I became acquainted with the family several months ago at Holy Martyrs Armenian Language School in Queens, NY when the school was preparing to host their annual Manti Night. It is a much-anticipated event that has been part of the community for decades, and tickets sell out quickly. Hilda and her daughters donated 160 pounds of manti for the evening and as expected, it was very well-received.

Hilda’s manti venture is not her first foray as a business owner. For more than two decades, she was the president and owner of the textile business company Trimland. “It’s in the Apikoglu blood,” she says. “My life’s work prepared me for this.”

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As a family business, they pride themselves on the product’s quality and their ability to manufacture a uniform shaped manti with the utmost attention to detail and cleanliness. Although, they contended with significant challenges. The first was searching for a pasta manufacturing plant that was able to create a mold that produced the traditional canoe-shaped pasta. Then came the process of trademarking the manti shape, along with their company name. They are currently finalizing an agreement with MODA Foods, which will manufacture their manti with sole exclusivity to Medz-Mom’s Manti.

The business is truly a family operation. Janine oversees the sales and distribution and Najda delegates the marketing and promotions. They are currently working on the packaging and retail distribution. For now, they are able to offer one-pound retail packaging to local grocers, or bulk packages to individuals and restaurants. Medz-Mom’s Manti is available for purchase by emailing medzmomsmanti@gmail.com

Hilda said, “Remaining persistent and dedicated to make my dream a reality, I have been able to accomplish this project with my two daughters by my side helping me along the way. My hope is that our manti reminds the next generation of what our grandmothers made by hand, working hours to prepare it, which can now be ready to enjoy and eat in under thirty minutes.”

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