Most of the products and stories we bring you are the vision of a single person, sometimes with a partner, yet a true Artisan. Today's story is a little different. We wanted to introduce you to the tight team behind Citrus Scent of Memory, a group working closely together to take a cottage industry beyond the island of Chios.
Our favorite photographer, the talented Gina Weathersby, visited the Citrus team in Athens a few months ago and met this committed group of people*, who work in between Athens and Chios. She learned what motivated and inspired them and asked for their favorite products, as we know it's hard to work somewhere if you don't like what you're making!
Doris, a fan of the sea and sailing, spoke of her love of loukoumia. "I especially love the Chian Tangerine loukoumi - loukoumia are woven into my childhood memories, when I'd be called a little loukoumi myself and then asked if I wanted one! As an adult, though, it's the best accompaniment to Greek coffee, which is what I always start my day with."
Efi, a mechanical engineer who works in production and new product development, is a fan of spoon sweets, her own little weakness. "I appreciate how the company still makes them in the traditional way, respecting the characteristics of each fruit. But the Four Citrus Spoon Sweet is really special - each spoonful is different, depending on what fruits come together."
Eleni, a dancer as a child who now moves to the frenetic rhythms of the Marketing and Communications department, remembers her interview, where they opened a jar with the Chian Tangerine Peel for her to taste. "I had a first, nice impression from the aroma, when the jar was opened. But the second and definitive impression came when I tasted the product - after the first bite, I cried out, 'wow!' That mix of rich syrup and intensely flavored pieces of peel was incredible." And probably a hook for the job ;-)
Irini Sassou also claims the Chian Tangerine Peel Spoon Sweet as her favorite. A travel photographer and writer, she had found herself in Chios for work several years ago, during the season when the citrus trees were in flower. "The scent, the nature, the magic of walking through those amazing alleyways of the Kambos, with the manor homes and their high walls, the feeling that you are walking in another time...I knew I had to work here!"
Irini was also fascinated by the "Scent of Memory" part of the Citrus name, inspired by the work of Professor Ben Strowbridge at Case Western University, which showed how Blanes cells in the brain retain a memory of a scent. "The uniqueness of Citrus Scent of Memory is that the taste and scent of all these natural products leave a different impression on each of us, taking us on a journey to whatever place we've stored in our brain..."
Irini's story of change and new beginnings that blend with memories of the past seemed especially fitting, as we kick off a new year for Zelos and all of our Artisans. May 2019 bring us all, including you, our valued customers and friends, the health and happiness that allow us to embrace whatever new challenges life will throw our way - Happy New Year!
*In our picture at the top, from left to right, you'll see Efi Kranidioti, Doris Tsigri, Eleni Sia, and Irini Sassou, together with Kaiti Hristou and Petros Maniatis, who work in the Finance & Accounting departments.
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.