I'm not usually with my mother on Mother's Day but this year it seems particularly bittersweet, simply because I couldn't be with her even if I'd wanted to. On the other hand, I didn't expect to have my daughter with me this Mother's Day, as she's a freshman away at college, but she's been home with us ever since her university closed down. We've been cooking and baking a lot together, something we didn't always do (you may have seen our banana bread, olive oil cake, and oatmeal cookies with Citrus' tangerine peel on our social media posts!). I think having to stay home together seems to have found us in the kitchen more and it's been a nurturing kind of therapy for us.
I look back at the past two years that Zelos started, when my daughter helped me at our very first local farmers' market. Those, too, seem like a distant memory and my heart truly goes out to all of our local Artisans who have lost this direct contact with their supporters. Our own Greek Artisans are slowly starting to get ready to reopen, as Greece has been very fortunate in minimizing deaths during this pandemic (you can read more in this New York Times article). We're hoping they'll come through and are working hard to make more and more people aware of their authentic, all-natural products.
I can't help but think that many of our Artisan's businesses are owned or run by women inspired by their mothers: Effie from Sparoza (with her daughter above, packing Aurora tea), Elli from Elli & Manos, the Citrus team. I also work with some special mothers, like my friend Alice, who runs Local Food Connection here in Cincinnati, bringing the farm-to-table movement to our homes and restaurants, and my over-zealous friend, Pauline, who has been Zelos' marketing powerhouse from the other side of the Atlantic...I am so thankful to them and I wish them a very special and happy Mother's Day!
As always on Mother's Day, I think back to the incredibly strong women in my life and hold on to their examples to get me through these challenging times. As with many other women entrepreneurs, I was inspired by my own mother, an incredibly hardworking small-business owner, and my grandmother, a widow that overcame so many difficulties. They taught me strength, resilience and how to survive outside of my comfort zone, and for that I am so thankful. To bring my mom and yiayia (grandma) closer to us this coming Sunday, we will make my mom's spanakópita with homemade dough, a delicious treat for such a special day.
I hope wherever your mother might be, you can take a moment to think about her and thank her for all she gave you. We mothers don't always get it right, but we try our best - Happy Mother's Day!
Enjoy the delicious taste of PDO Kimi figs from the island of Evia and bring the flavors of a Greek summer to your table. Hand-crafted by Kumilio using traditional techniques with no additives, preservatives, artificial coloring or flavors.