Former 2nd Street Market vendor selling baklava at Dorothy Lane Market locations

May 2—Since retiring from 2nd Street Market in Feb. 2023, Azra Kaurin has not stopped baking and cooking. She said she's been going through old recipes and taking the time to write down measurements of ingredients for a cookbook she hopes to publish in the future.

Kaurin is a native of Bosnia who came to the United States in 1996 with her family after the signing of the Dayton Accords — a peace agreement that put an end to the Bosnian War.

When she started baking in America, her signature homemade baklava quickly became a huge hit among customers.

Kaurin has now partnered with Dorothy Lane Market to sell her baklava at all three locations: 2710 Far Hills Ave. in Oakwood, 6177 Far Hills Ave. in Washington Twp. and 740 N Main St. in Springboro.

She said her children and friends encouraged her to take this step after she had already partnered with Dorothy Lane Market for several years to sell her signature cookies over 20 years ago.

"I'm so proud I will be able to do something like this," Kaurin said. "It was nice to come back to one of the best places in town. It's a great opportunity for a small business to be there. I'm very, very thankful for the bakery department."

She described baking baklava as "a labor of love." From assembling the many layers and brushing the layers with butter to baking at a low temperature and making sure the honey syrup has time to cool, baking baklava takes a lot of time and skill.

Kaurin recalled watching her mom and aunt bake baklava as a child. One of her favorite memories is when they made homemade phyllo dough and it was laid out all over the house. Baklava was something they made for holidays, special occasions or family gatherings.

Baklava can be described as tender, crispy, buttery and nutty. Kaurin's recipe for baklava is a cross between Greek and Turkish. One thing she does differently compared to her mom and aunt is that she warms the spices in the baklava. She said they used to serve baklava with warm spiced tea.

Kaurin will be at the Dorothy Lane Market at 6177 Far Hills Ave. in Washington Twp from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 4 to meet customers and let them try her baklava.

For those who do buy her baklava, she encourages them to add some extra honey, walnuts or dark chocolate to it. She said you can even eat it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Kaurin was the owner of Azra's Mediterranean Cuisine at 2nd Street Market for 22 years.

"I did have a great life experience and I was thankful for the MetroParks," Kaurin said. "They always have a special place in my heart."

Kaurin does not have plans to open another restaurant. She is continuing to work on her cookbook and spending time with her family.