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Going to market and where a 50preneur adventure can take you!

3 min read

Going to market and where a 50preneur adventure can take you!

I've loved being a "50preneur," even though it’s a roller coaster of emotions, given the typical challenges of any start-up.  One of the things I love most about what I am doing, though, is that I'm taken completely out of my comfort zone and into the lives of people that I would have never met otherwise: from Pamela Ann in Okinawa, Japan to Chef Alexandros Pavlopoulos in Dubai, full circle to Mina Apostolidou in Brussels, Belgium, where I lived for 12 years. Moreover, I've gotten to know even better the people I had already met here in my hometown of Cincinnati, where Chef José Salazar prepared a ceviche for me just for fun, using Tragano Greek Organics Sea Fennel; and our French fan Corinne shared a delectable vegetable terrine using Elli & Manos Greek Flavor Bursts. 

There is also a great number of people that I meet at the different tastings we've been holding and at the markets we are visiting. The best thing about these moments is that you talk to people and have a chance to be present when they try your products, to see their faces when they like them (or even on the rare occasions when they don't!) and then they have the opportunity to share what they tasted and felt. We get a ton of positive feedback in these tastings, because our products are truly flavorful and even if they are sometimes a bit foreign in nature, our shoppers are quickly won over.

One of my fondest memories comes from one such market last summer, when two women, a mother and her daughter, who also had brought her two-year old, visited our stand. They had bought some products and we offered a tasting of our egg and milk orzo with Elli & Manos' Tomato and Thyme Greek Flavor Burst. The women accepted but they also said that the child was picky and would never like the pasta. Off they went, but, a few minutes later they were back...the toddler loved our orzo, even with its unique thyme sauce!  So we gave them a bowl just for her and they bought some more to take home.

I also remember a very adventurous mom who had a young child of maybe a year old sitting in the supermarket cart. We were doing a tasting at Jungle Jim's, an international super market here in Cincinnati. She tasted one of Elli & Manos' sauces and then wanted her child to do the same. The baby tasted the sample, and then made a grimace of surprise, as a big question formed in her eyes, probably triggered by the touch of lemon.  But then she took her mom's hand with both her little hands and put the spoon in her mouth again for seconds. Priceless!

The only reason I share these stories is because I love it when kids enjoy our food.  They often have the least prejudice against food and they are always sincere. I also share these anecdotes because they are an endorsement for our products' taste and quality. Our artisans make real food, without any preservatives, additives or colorants to improve their taste or texture (which is why you sometimes need to mix those Greek Flavor Bursts if the oil has separated!). They don't need improvement because they are made with real ingredients of the highest quality. Most of our products are super small-batch, made traditionally in smaller spaces.  It is a matter of pride for the people involved in their making, and we want to be part of this tradition and pride and help them grow and prosper.

Thanks to all of you who've helped us in this adventure and I hope we can get to know even more of you!

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