Yiannis Voultsis shows us how to embark upon a Greek culinary journey from our own homes.
We met up with Yiannis Voultsis, one of the co-founders of Monthly Flavors, at his Athenian hub where the shelves are stacked high with unique and carefully sourced Greek food products.
Previous experience in the food and beverage industry, allowed Yiannis to identify how little premium Greek food products were known outside the country. The challenge that faced most producers was breaching foreign markets - lacking the pecuniary clout to market to consumers abroad proved to be a hurdle too high. Along with his business partner, Panos Papadopoulos, Yiannis came up with the idea to skip the middleman and disseminate these products themselves, and so Monthly Flavors was born.
With the ambition of taking the customer on a “tasteful and healthy journey through Greece,” Yiannis was of the opinion that “the best way is to deliver [the products] straight to the customer’s doorstep.” Monthly Flavors offers a simple solution for “those who love tasting new products and expanding their culinary experience without moving an inch from their home.” Within a few taps you can subscribe to Monthly Flavors and receive a monthly box containing 5-6 premium quality, full size, Greek food products. Each product is individual and never repeated, ensuring no month is the same. These “healthy Mediterranean delicacies” are carefully curated by a team of experts that do the legwork so the customer doesn’t have to.
"Starting globally was a big gamble.”
Yiannis admits that "starting globally was a big gamble,” although, now up and running for just under a year, the business has seen an exponential boom in subscribers, with the majority of customers based in Germany, Italy, France and the UK. Despite the foreign interest, domestic customers still account for a sizeable percentage and are perhaps the most passionate, “we started in the middle of the crisis and people were still adding their addresses and pay-pal accounts.”
This popularity may be down to what Yiannis believes is a move away from the mass-produced goods available in supermarkets. As "the Mediterranean diet is one one of the best in the world” the small farmers and family-run businesses from which Monthly Flavors procures its offerings are a refreshing and unique break from industrial, standardised products.
"the Mediterranean diet is one one of the best in the world."
While the economic crisis certainly hasn’t been easy, Yiannis describes the rise in entrepreneurial ventures that Greece is experiencing as a positive result to arise from the difficulties many have faced. Instead, opportunities for new ideas and businesses have been generated that weren’t apparent before, “people are collaborating to overcome the economic crisis.”
Creating its own market by becoming the first and only company to deliver healthy Mediterranean food to the doors of customers across Europe, Yiannis is now looking to expand Monthly Flavor's customer base by adding a snack box to the roster. The new box will function in the same way, but will be targeted at those who “don’t have the time to cook or expand their culinary tastes.” Designed to combat the average person’s junk food intake which can average out at 30% of daily calorie intake, the box will feature dried fruit and nuts, with a highlight being pistachio products from Aegina.