In November 2013 "Mia Feta “opened in the heart of Thessaloniki, in Pavlou Mela Street 14. The shop belongs to the Kourella family from Grevena.
Ms. Paraskevi Kourella one of three owners of the dairy products company Kourellas SA and talked about the innovation of the enterprise, the operation, the products they market, the awards they have earn so far, the difficulties encountered in trying to enter the catering industry their plans for the future.
"The company Kourellas SA maintains two farms, one with cows and the other with sheep. In addition, we have a cheese production and packaging plant, and a factory for animal feed. So we are talking about a vertical unit production of dairy products. Our company is mainly export. 90% of our products are exported abroad, while only 10% is sold in Greece. So we thought a way for customers to be able to taste and buy our products. We decided to open the "Mia Feta", which is our window to the public. "
The "Mia Feta" is a multi-catering operation. The novelty in that it is both a taste & buy shop. "In our store one can find and buy over 80 codes of products manufactured by our company," said Ms. Kourella. "At the same time, we try to give a new view of how to cook these products in another way. In short we want to give a different dimension to Feta cheese, a different culinary application of what is available in the market ".
In "Mia Feta" one can find other exclusive products as well as from our family’s company. "We believe that in our store we as a basis our own products but also products with designation of origin, from people who think that they have to give something superior in quality to the food industry. Whatever we use in our kitchen we sell on the shelves as well, “says Ms. Kourella.
At this family shop you can taste creative cuisine based on the quality of ingredients. "Our company is innovative, because it produces many different products and with this particular store we go a step further by cooking them as well. Every day we have to do a new creative dish for our clients. If anyone tasted a dish in our shop and liked it, he can then get the ingredients from our shelves, give him the recipe and he can try cooking it in his home. We listen to the client, and we work based on this.
"Feta Mia" has a very interesting menu. Filet mignon served with mashed purple potato, celery root and truffle sauce. Risotto with nettle grass and feta cheese foam. Panacotta with watermelon, duo chocolate cream, and cream cheese with berries and absinthe jelly (some of the dishes you can be taste in Mia Feta).
However, the Feta bytes are what have earned the impressions and gained many fans, "The Feta bytes are mouthfuls full of flavors. We have, smoky Feta bytes, with Greek herbs with olive and chili, with tomato and oregano, garlic and pepper, with poppy seeds and sesame seeds. Right now this is our most popular product in our store. Also a great demand has the Feta cheese flavored with truffle. This product was awarded twice within half a year, in food competitions in Cologne and the World Wild Cheese in England. "
"Mia Feta" employs a total of 8 people and the company's success exceeds all expectations, said Ms Kourella. The main characteristics of our success are persistence and discipline and the constant search for something new. Many celebrities have made the "Mia Feta" their daily hangout.
But the road to success was not easy. "We struggled in the beginning, because we entered into a new industry, the food industry and had to learn everything from the beginning. Also due to the economic situation we could not be helped by the banks because the interest rate is very high. Money in Greece is very expensive and this is an obstacle when starting a new business. We sell Feta cheese which is an everyday product for many of our clients and we strive to have quality products at reasonable prices. So this combination of price and Quality is very hard to achieve. Though consumers are looking more and more into different and quality products, it takes time to train them for something new. "
Ms. Kourella also talked about her future plans. "What we want to do is open the same store in Athens, and later in New York and London. We have our plans, but we just want our steps to be slow and steady."
By Evangelia Kakleidaki (translated by TGC)