We check out what Konstantina Chasioti is baking.
At The Athenian we buy our handmade pitas from Chasiotis, a family-run bakery that can trace its origins back to 1944 and the original conception of the modern day Greek pita.
Third generation pita-maker, Konstantina Chasioti, made time for us out of her busy schedule to for a quick chat about her pita business.
Her family seems to have always worked in the industry, so for Konstantina, it was a natural progression for her to take up running the family business. “I’m a person that was born into pita,” she says with humour, “from the time I remember I was always in the pita industry, so I know pita very well.”
Working at a bakery wasn’t Konstantina’s first choice; she studied marketing and advertising and worked in that trade for six years. This career path wasn’t meant to be, as her earliest memories revolve around the bakery and her mind was, “always on my father’s job.”
Turbulent times in Greece posed a challenge that Konstantina was keen to overcome, a steady increase in clients belied the decline of consumption domestically and so she “had to look outside Greece.” The opportunity to export at this point was unique, as despite a significant preexisting Greek diaspora, this grew exponentially as people left the country to seek their fortune elsewhere. The creation of souvlaki businesses in other countries (much like The Athenian) established her pita's popularity abroad.
Asked what puts Chasiotis ahead of the competition, Konstantina is of the opinion that the high-quality ingredients she uses for her pitas is a telling factor, “we pay to have good quality, but I get this back in my product.” The Chasiotis factory is also state-of-the-art but the hands on ethos remains the same, “the concept of handmade is superior to industrial.”