I'll be upfront, I started Zelos motivated by personal relationships. As I've written in my very first blog post, my family was a huge influence on how I grew up and related to food. As I lived more and more years abroad, I began to seek out delicious Greek products and restaurants. But to be honest, it was tough to find the true flavors I grew up with. So each time I'd go back to Greece, I'd look for things to bring back to Cincinnati.
It was on those trips that I began to meet the incredible people that later became our Zealous Artisans. In fact, one of the things that drives us here at Zelos is that our products are made by real people that we can see and talk to, ask about their lives, their kids, what makes them tick. We love our Artisans because they truly epitomize the best Greece has to offer. They run small businesses, they are hard-working and persevere despite all the difficulties they go through, difficulties we can't even imagine here in the States. For example, up until a few weeks ago, our Artisans struggled to obtain credit, to manage financial transactions abroad (including with us!), as they were still under capital controls.
But we don't call them Zealous Artisans for nothing! These entrepreneurs are are resilient and passionate - we felt that in all our conversations and meetings with them. They believe in their products and want to continue to make them with the highest of quality no matter what the challenge. One of those challenges is actually that their products aren't known here! And often, you our customers, ask us what you should try or how to use their products, looking for somewhere where you can start. So we've created Artisan Sampler Kits!
Our Full Size Samplers are combinations of our favorite products that we believe can give you an idea and will help you discover the products of each of our Zealous Artisans. These boxes also come at a small discount as an extra incentive and thank you for supporting our Artisans. You'll find many recipes in our Zealous Stories blog, too, if you're not sure how to best enjoy them. They make a great foodie gift, too!
The Agrozimi Sampler is all about Greek comfort food, egg and milk hilopites (see our noodle recipes on YouTube!), orzo-kritharaki (for our delicious Greek Orzo Salad on YouTube or our blog), and trahana (you can always cook a trahanóto if you don't want a nice warm soup).
The Citrus sampler enjoy our very best seller of Triple Citrus Fruit Marmalade on your morning toast, pancakes or yogurt parfait, and the Four Citrus Fruit Spoon Sweet, which is a gorgeous topping to dress up a storebought cheesecake or ice cream...or if you're feeling really ambitious, try making my flourless chocolate cake and dressing it with that!
Our Elli & Manos Sampler brings together their Raisin & Cinnamon Gourmet Spread (yummy with cheese or on toast), the Tomato & Sweet Red Wine Greek Flavor Burst (a must to dress your meatballs), and the fresh-tasting Peas & Mint Greek Flavor Burst (delicious with fish or mixed into a risotto).
Sparoza's Sampler is our wellness bundle, with the Aurora Tea (with Greek Mountain Tea mentioned by Hippocrates for its benefits to the immune and respiratory system), Avaris Tea (for sweet dreams and a whif of the Greek countryside) and the 15 Greek Herbs and Seeds cooking blend (which, as one happy customer told us, takes you beyond your usual oregano or thyme!).
I hope you enjoy discovering our Zealous Artisans' delights as much as we've enjoyed meeting them and helping them bring their small batch, all natural products to the States!
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