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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 22 December 2018
12 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 22 DECEMBER 2018 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM In memory of founder Christos Tassios, Chris’ Foods launched its signature terracotta pot Heritage range in 2015, an innovation Christos always wanted to introduce. Nicholas made it happen in honour of his father, with the move also being a statement about the innovation he wanted to inject into the future business. Continuing a legacy of love for Greek flavours An insider’s look at the evolution of a family-owned Greek Australian business spanning over 35 years, Neos Kosmos follows Chris’ Foods from its humble beginnings at a South Yarra delicatessen to what is considered today one of the country’s most renowned food brands ZOE THOMAIDOU I f you were a South Yarra local back in the '80s, chances are you had discovered a small delicatessen selling in-house produced taramosalata, eggplant and tzatziki dips. Founded in 1982 by Christos Tassios - a Greek migrant born in Kanalia, a village just outside the city of Volos - Olympus Continental Deli became the go-to place for Greeks and well-travelled members of the broader community alike, in search of those Mediterranean treats which were hard to find elsewhere. Among the regulars, Christos' son Nicholas recalls, were celebrities and socialites of the time, including Molly Meldrum and Jeannie Little, while standard offerings were also part of the menu. "Dad made really good toasties and coffees out of the Deli too," Nicholas Tassios muses. But what the family did not know, was that this business - home to their first range of dips - signalled just the beginning of a journey which would create one of Australia's most beloved food brands. RISING FROM THE ASHES Word quickly spread about the sought-after dips, and to keep up with demand the company moved premises the following year. Full-scale production was set up in Northcote, with Chris' dips reaching supermarket shelves, while Christos continued making deliveries from his own van. In a challenging twist of fate, a fire broke out in the brand new factory causing it to burn down. But Christos would not give up. As a matter of fact, the factory was up and running within five days. In hindsight, Nicholas describes this incident as marking the moment when Chris' was truly born. Having seen his father doing everything he could to keep his dream alive, Nicholas concludes: "If he didn't make that decision then to continue in business, there wouldn't be a Chris' today." Production was moved to Heidelberg in 1986 and finally to Chris' current premises in Thomastown. The family business would continue to grow, with the brand eventually established nationally in both the dip and yoghurt categories.
15 December 2018
05 January 2019