The Thessaloniki koulouri is an iconic Greek treat, not just for the city of Thessaloniki but the whole of Greece.
Trays of koulouri are sold on street corners by fast-disappearing koulourades (men who sell the breads) as bakeries take over production – an affordable simple snack to enjoy with coffee, on the run, at the office…
The well-known Greek chain ‘Koulourades’ is set to open a franchise in Sydney.
Dimitris Grivas, who heads Koulourades, told Greek newspaper, Proto Thema, that the chain now has 147 stores and employs more than 1,000 people.
Mr Grivas is aged just 41 and claims to already have 30 years in the business, having started in the business of koulouri-making at the age of 11 when he would wake up to help his parents open shop at their establishment in Paleo Faliro, on the coast of Athens.
“At 7.30am, I would stop to prepare for school,” he said.
“I grew up in Ano Petralona, where our home was, and Paleo Faliro, where my parents owned the bakeri, but my background is from Karpenisi,” Mr Grivas said. “I have been working from the age of 11. By 15, I would make deliveries to outlets by car and would also look after the shop with my brother when our parents were away. I learnt a lot and manned up n the family business. I decided at the age of 24 to leave from the security it presented. We had two bakeries at the time. I could not accept that my life would be limited there. i wanted to distinguish myself, to develop and do my own thing.”
In 2015, Koulourades was created. The first store was set up on Navarinou St, Piraeus.
It proved to be a success story.
Apart from the recipe itself, Mr Grivas said that the recipe is unique due to the taste of ingredients. “When you specialise in something, you put all your attention on it, you fight to be excellent. That is our philosophy,” he said.
It is a philosophy that has paid off now that the first franchise is set to open abroad – first in Valencia and then Sydney.
Mr Grivas said New York is the next area he has set his sights on.
The sky is the limit.