We are in the midst of trying to navigate a new sense of normal for the time being. For most, its about the virus, but for Greece, its much more. In addition to fighting this global virus, they are in extreme conflict with Turkey, and regardless of the outcome on either front, there are no real winners. However, what has emerged amidst all of this, is a renewed sense of community, of caring for others, of supporting those in need. A reset if you will on human kindness. The show of support for our local communities, and also a show of support for Greece has been amazingly wonderful. Made in Greece products and supporting businesses of Greece is more meaningful than ever, to show our support of Greece, its people and its products. Please be aware, when someone says their products are Made in Greece, you have every right to ask for verification, to insure the authenticity of the statement. We've talked about the differences in the meaning - its realistic to assume that some components of products can come from other countries, but we work directly with artists and businesses of Greece who source local products whenever possible, and whose work and talents are still going into every product we sell, who are still making the products themselves, and adding their personal touches. Especially our jewelry, its purchased only from individual independent artists of Greece. We like to connect our customers with the artists making the products via artist profiles on our website and our new expanded collection of artist cards to go with the products....and also make our customers aware of the businesses we are buying from, to be transparent, to show authenticity, and to build trust. Its unfortunate that some Greek themed businesses in the USA have felt the need to put a blanket statement saying everything is from Greece when its sometimes not. We have stated over and over that there are beautiful Greek themed products coming from all parts of the world. There is no reason for a business to ever deceive customers, they should be celebrating their differences from other Greek themed companies, their diversity should be their strength and not masked to try to emulate any other business. We all work hard to build our businesses and our customer relationships. Stating "Made in Greece" or noting support for Greece and businesses of Greece should never be a selling ploy, it is something to share because its important to a business and their core values. The Taste and Art of Greece business model was built on working only with Greek artists and Greek owned businesses from day one, these relationships are the core, the heart of our company. Watch our posts, see our videos and photos with the artists and businesses. Check our history - we've only grown in this mission from our beginnings. We will continue to be transparent and answer our customers honestly. We are super excited we are at a point of expansion, where we can now include cards about the artists with every applicable order, and are actually graduating to our own shipping boxes whereas we depended on "our village" to help us with our startup supplies as a small business.
After one wonderfully busy year, we find ourselves in our 2nd February of business, recharged and energized for an exciting year of expansion and new opportunities, while still keeping our mission, vision and values squarely in our hearts and minds. We will be introducing new artists from Greece to our catalog that will represent unique, handmade items. We continue to be committed only to working with Greek artists of Greece, and Greek owned businesses in Greece, with just a couple of our products from Greek owned businesses in the USA, such as the popular Yiayia's Koutales. This past year, we also helped a Greek dance troupe from Florida and a Greek music ensemble in Boston with their charitable efforts by selling their products. We have found that we have a vehicle that can drive support for Hellenic culture in the USA, and we are beyond thrilled to continue this journey! We have also seen a change in our industry in general...have you noticed more online businesses talking about Greek artists, or using the #madeingreece?Maybe they were buying products from Greece all along, but never emphasized it before. We feel a movement has been growing where authenticating product has become very important to the consumer. We've seen the hashtags #supportgreece and #supportgreekdesigners used to advertise products that are Greek themed, but did not come from Greece. We even received a customer letter about another Greek shop that mislead them into thinking something was from Greece but really came from another country...and that shop actually argued with the customer rather than take responsibility. I guess in this last year, we've seen it all....we hope! LOL There are wonderful looking Greek themed products coming from many other countries, that is not the issue...the issue is misrepresentation, and misleading customers. We recognize that even our Greek artists and businesses are forced at times to buy components of their products from other countries, or what they are buying from their local Greek craft shop is carrying components from other countries. However, we support the Greek artists and businesses in their time, their ingenuity, their designs, and their products for sale that are coming from their hands, their shops, in support of their work. It would be easy and less expensive to buy from some other countries to acquire Greek themed products, but that is not who we are. Sticking to our mission, vision and values is more important to us. With that said, what you'll see from us this year will continue to emphasize our work with Greek owned businesses, a celebration of our heritage that we will take on the road this festival season, to new locations, new cities, and growth of our work with Churches and wholesale customers to keep the momentum growing for our mission to honor #madeingreece
This drawing by Strati's son reminds me of the early conversations we had in creating Taste and Art of Greece. One of the first things we talked about was giving back to a Greek organization. Our initial thoughts were to a children's orphanage, or something that supported helping children. We were going to make our own line of Greek greeting cards or something to support this. In our beginnings, we knew it was too soon to commit to a donation, we hadn't made $1 at that point yet, but it stayed on our radar. Our business model was built to support artists and businesses of Greece, but also any organization that supports our Hellenic culture. As a small business still its early years, we have to be somewhat conservative in the amount we can do. Through the year, we've made smaller donations for raffles and silent auctions, we do what we can. And even though we still aren't in a position to make a 50% donation, there was no question we wanted to do something. So many wonderful charities, what to pledge to? We are not just selling wonderful products from Greek artists and businesses, but also trying to keep the traditions of our culture alive and thriving in any part of the world where there are Greeks. As we mulled over the many fantastic organizations we could put some support behind this holiday season, it was really something we hadn't even considered but we are so excited about that we landed on! Over dinner with a good friend, she told me about her involvement with a Non profit organization - The Hellenic Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Canton, Massachusetts. As it turns out, my Yiayia also lived there in her last months of life. My Yiayia Katina was a fabulous person. To me she always looked like a "yiayia" but she had quite a life, four children and not much money, lost her first husband young (my papou who I never met), married again but he passed as well, and she carried on.....a life that made her strong, but to me I always saw the soft and loving side, a happy side. Sunday dinners with Greek soup, playing cards even though she only spoke Greek and my language skills were poor, somehow we managed. Her making me warm milk with a little sugar when I wasn't feeling so great, always seemed to do the trick. Her warm Gingerale "Gingerella" that she liked. Listening to Greek music with her. She was a caregiver all her life, and then the time came when she needed someone to take care of her. Whats fantastic about this center is not just their care of the residents, but that they have Greek speaking workers, in addition to a top notch range of services short or longterm. A place where our Yiayias and Papous can get some short term care, or live their last days in comfort and care. Thinking about this....the foundation of our culture, our Yiayias and Papous, who passed on traditions to our parents, who pass on to us.... to keep our Hellenic roots growing for generations to come....how true this connects with our mission of sharing our culture and ....what a wonderful organization to put support behind this holiday season. If you listened into our interview with Grecian Echoes radio station in Boston, Massachusetts, you heard us make an official pledge of a % of our online sales for the holiday selling season. No matter the amount, we want to always give back whatever we can when it comes to helping our Hellenic communities around the world. And in this case, providing some comfort and care to the figureheads of our families who gave so much for us , who instilled our culture in us, just like my Yiayia did for me. We decided this was the best way to kick off our first official season of "Greek" giving. We know there are alot of online boutiques selling fantastic products this season, but we hope you will consider shopping with us, knowing that part of every sale will go to help an organization taking care of people who have worked tirelessly for their own families to carve a life here in the USA while carrying on the beautiful traditions of our Greek heritage. Wishing everyone a blessed holiday season xo
As we approach the end of October, November 15th is fast approaching. In addition to being able to enjoy that day with one of our wholesale customers at a festival in North Carolina, it will also mark the day we opened our website to all of you just one year ago. To say its been a whirlwind is an understatement. Tomorrow, we will have our second radio interview since we started Taste and Art of Greece, on air with Grecian Echoes, a station I remember listening to as a child, waking up on a Sunday morning it was a ritual to hear the music playing and the voice of legendary host Oresti Demetriades. To be able to actually be on the other side of the radio is somewhat surreal. Our first interview was with Kefi FM-Boston, who we are a sponsor for. a wonderful station run by a terrific team of folks who are like minded to our mission...sharing our love and passion for all things that represent our Greek culture. We run a business but its really just living out a dream in a way....to get into all the specifics would require a much longer blog post perhaps chased down with a little Plomari ouzo ......but we've taken on something that is bigger than us. We try to bring things beyond the standard, we have a good mix but we are expanding more on the new and different, traditional with modern twist...and this is what you'll see from us in the coming year. We all love Mati jewelry and accessories, and we'll continue bringing new and fun pieces with this popular symbol, but that is not what defines the Greek culture. The people define the culture, the traditions, the crafts passed down from generation to generation, The care each artist we work with takes in making their products and working with us to create extra special pieces. The time in September we spent meeting the artists who we've worked with this past year was simply fantastic. We also go into the next month thinking about how this was all made possible, our parents and grandparents who instilled in us our appreciation and devotion to carry on the traditions of our culture. Like them, everything we show you on our website, we do so with love.
ON THIS DAY ONE YEAR AGO, WE LAUNCHED OUR IDENTITY, OUR FACEBOOK PAGE, AND OUR JOURNEY WITH TASTE AND ART OF GREECE BEGAN. WE ARE HAPPY TO SAY OUR FIRST YEAR WAS MET WITH TREMENDOUS SUCCESS IN BOTH SOCIAL MEDIA AND THE TRAFFIC TO OUR WEBSITE. IT EXCEEDED OUR EXPECTATIONS, AND ALSO PROVIDED VALUABLE LESSONS TO HELP US CONTINUE ON OUR PATH INTO OUR SECOND AND FUTURE YEARS. WE STARTED THIS COMPANY WITH A SIMPLE MISSION - TO SUPPORT INDEPENDENT ARTISTS AND SUPPLIERS OF GREECE BY SELLING THEIR PRODUCTS IN AMERICA, AND TO HIGHLIGHT WHO WAS PROVIDING THE PRODUCTS. WE'VE SPENT ALOT OF TIME THIS YEAR TELLING YOU WHO WE ARE. GOING INTO YEAR TWO, WE WANT TO TELL YOU WHO WE ARE NOT.
Our launch in 2018 was a whirlwind, and so much fun! One of our featured artists, Andromahi, came with her lovely friend Roula, their first journey to America, to help with our launch for the website and some special events. Having them here was fantastic not only for the extra hands, but to show the American side of the business those little extra special "Greek" touches when packaging customer purchases...like beautiful ribbons on their gift bags, with Greek words that translate to "Hope, Love, Luck" . After the Christmas rush, we took the time to build our direction for the business going into 2019. In addition to adding products to our Eshop, we have a full schedule for the year ahead of Pop Up appearances and festivals. We are even doing a few home parties, stay tuned for more information on that program. And now is also the time to expand our product catalogue. We attended an exhibition in Athens this month to source new suppliers, and connect with our existing ones. We are so happy with the artists whose work we support, and to share their beautiful products with the USA! The one thing we notice with some other Eshops in the USA of Greek products, they throw around appealing words like "handmade" or "from Greece"...and some of the products they are showing we are familiar with....the customer is not always getting the actual story on the origin of the product. To us, "Made in Greece" is an important distinction, and so meaningful when we say it. It represents the hard work of such talented artists, from a country that is very much a part of us. We are proud to show the work of any producer and artist you see on our website. So, as we continue to stay true to our mission, bringing the best of Greece to the USA, to "awaken your senses" to authentic Greece....you may be seeing some new faces on our artist page, more products from our current artists, and expansion on our producers for our Taste products. New packages have started to arrive, its like Christmas every month for us.... and we hope to bring that feeling to our customers every time they receive a package from us! Cheers to a fabulous 2019!
Spoon Sweets, which have little to no fat, are considered to be a healthy sweet, so much so that even Greek dieticians recommend having these handy when you have a craving for something sugary but are trying to lose weight. Traditionally served in a spoon, hence the name, some people even like to have them as a flavoring in a cup of very cold water. They are fantastic over ice creams, as filling in cakes or a tart, and beautiful on yogurt and served as a "healthy" dessert. We carry four flavors by Greek producer Vourderis that are sure to make your next dinner party a little sweeter! Visit our Seasonal Tastes section in the Taste menu to see our options.
We chose to partner with Meligyris Cretan Apiary not only for their delicious tasting honey. Their honey boasts many health benefits due to their care and processing methods. They continue a long bee farming heritage that dates back to 1920, in their words...holding dear to traditional beekeeping methods -
Our hives are spread across the island of Crete and give us a wide range of varietal honey featuring the depth and diversity of the Cretan wild flora. Traditional methods of extraction and collection are used to ensure that the enzymes, protein and natural goodness stay within.
All our honey is raw, unfiltered and cold pressed preserving all the natural health benefits as well as the distinctive aromas and taste of pure Cretan honey.
The unique characteristics of Meligyris artisan honey are strongly connected to the unique ecosystem of the island:
Meligyris is synonymous with the highest standards in quality and holds the following certifications-
From now until December 1st, we are celebrating our website launch with 10% off....dont miss out! Fill in your email when you see the discount pop up to take advantage of this special offer. We will continue to be adding new products in the coming weeks....
Started by two friends who met as teenagers during a summer holiday in Greece, one from the USA and the other from Lesvos, Greece! A vision was born over 29 years later, to bring to America the best of Greece as a celebration of all the wonderful things Greece has to offer beyond the glorious sunsets and picturesque views. From the hands of artists, crafts people working with various materials, and from the most traditional and classic makers of foods, everything made in Greece, brought to your doors in the USA. We bring you hidden gems in fashion and in traditional products. We want to share all these wonderful, innovative, stylish, and delicious products beyond Greece. We are working directly with the artists and producers of our products, some new to the American marketplace, and some old familiar favorites. Through our Eshop and pop up stores around the New Hampshire and Massachusetts areas, you will be supporting and celebrating these wonderful people who put their love, time and devotion into their craft.