The original product was created by Harutun and Esther Batmazian, an Armenian trader and his wife, who arrived in Cork in 1902 after fleeing pogroms in the Ottoman Empire. They exhibited his confections at the Great Cork International Exhibition that year. The business was set up in Cork City where the it thrived although after WWI there was an incident with the premises being burned, it is assumed it occurred when soldiers returning from the Gallipoli offensive mistook the family as Turks. Batmazian moved the shop from Lower Glanmire street to McCurtain street and set about explaining the family heritage to the local people. The sweet became a regional favourite.The business exported it confections to Harrods in London and Bloomingdale's in New York. It was even supplied to Buckingham Palace.
His shop facade on McCurtin Street read: Hadji Bey et Cie which gave the premises an exotic, international, quasi-French atmosphere.
The business today
Esther died in the 1940s and her husband left Cork and moved to the United States. Their son Eddie Batmazian ran the business until he retired in 1970 at which point the business began to decline. By 2010 the product was bought and made by UHC Confectionery in Newbridge, while keeping a premises at the English Market in Cork.
- Web mention accessed 2010
- Hadji Bey website 2010
- Phelan, Kate. "A Brief History of Hadji Bey's, Ireland's Premier Turkish Delight". Culture Trip. Retrieved 2018-01-15.
- "A sweet story from Cork". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2018-01-15.
- "TG4's Hadji Bey documentary a sweet delight - Independent.ie". Independent.ie.
- "Cie" abbreviates compagnie, the French word for a Limited company.