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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 22 December 2018
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 22 DECEMBER 2018 13 FOOD PROFILE Hommus making the traditional way The Chris’ Foods family at the recent 2018 Dairy Industry Awards. (L-R) CEO Arthur Xipolitos, Yiota Tassios, Maria Tassios and Exec. Director Nicholas Tassios Christos Tassios at a retail shop back in the day, where Chris’ Greek Dips were sold Tzatziki making at Chris’ Foods CONTINUING A LEGACY Nicholas emerged as the company's Executive Director, with the aim of continuing his father's legacy into the future following Christos' passing in 2012. After all, Christos' passion about bringing flavours from his homeland to the tables of Australians and his belief that good food brings people together are the two main drivers inspiring the Tassios' family to this day. Meanwhile, it seems that the sheer determination which defined Christos' attitude to life and business has also been passed on to Nicholas. "He never gave up, I even look back today and think, how did he keep going?," Nicholas comments and shares one of the greatest lessons instilled in him by his father. "Even if you fail you need to keep going. It's not about how many times you get hit, that's inevitable in business, it's about how many times you get back up." Christos' presence and charisma continues to be missed by family, friends and staff of the company. In 2015, in memory of Christos, Chris' launched its signature Heritage range, a selection of gourmet savoury dips and desserts served within European terracotta pots. A game-changer for the market, the idea born from Christos' desire to introduce an authentic Mediterranean touch Down Under has changed the way Australians serve dips amongst friends and family. A PROUD GREEK HERITAGE IN A MULTICULTURAL WORLD Today, Chris' Foods - the company's name since its 2017 re-branding - stands out as the only major Australian owned and made dip manufacturer in the country. With all of its products continuing to be made in Thomastown, the business employs over 120 Victorians, some of whom have worked there for over 30 years. But, on top of continuing to bring homestyle dips to the masses, the company has ventured into new areas over the years. "While our core business remains dips, over time we have evolved our range from just traditional Greek recipes to deliver dip, yoghurt and dessert products that are inspired by international flavours and ingredients from all over the world, " says Nicholas. The brand's popularity nowadays is yet more The packaging of Chris’ Taramosalata might have evolved over the years, but the family recipe remains the same proof of Australia's love affair with Greek cuisine. But at the same time, the Tassios family is well aware of the constantly changing market, understanding that consumers' expectations from fresh food products are vaster and more dynamic than ever. For Chris' Foods, capitalising on these developments has helped the business continue evolve, innovate and outlive competitors who have come and gone. "We are inevitably larger today with more staff, and experience the pressure from the industry to innovate to stay alive. We have more equipment, technology and systems that allow us to automate and be smarter about how we do business, particularly regarding our supply chain," Nicholas reflects on the business today. "Today, the complexity is about getting product on the shelf and ensuring that it's the same every single time. The quality of our product is paramount to me and that's one thing I'm proud of and will never compromise. It's what keeps our customers coming back, " he explains. Product ranges are indeed attuned to latest food trends, but it comes as no surprise that classic Greek flavours, including the signature Chris' yoghurt, tzatziki and taramosalata - with its caviar sourced directly from Greece - have not only passed the test of time but even see their popularity increase. According to Nicholas, the main reason behind this is their commitment to offer the same quality in products and sticking to the authenticity of recipes. "That's one thing, consistency, we have never changed over the years. Our customers are loyal, they're not here today and gone tomorrow. We have a lot of people, customers and staff, who have supported us for a very long time." Running one of the most recognised brands in Australia's food industry is no small thing. But Nicholas says that what matters most is keeping alive the passion that made all this possible and of course honouring the heritage underpinning the brand. "I do feel a sense of responsibility to take it forward but I'm so proud of what my parents achieved that I feel motivated by all of their hard work and I want to continue their legacy. I believe that you need to be humble, be passionate about what you do and the rest will always follow."
15 December 2018
05 January 2019