Original sweet surprises inspired by olives, challenging the idea that olives can only be eaten salted, are “travelling” through Greece and abroad. Sweet olive preserve, olive and lemon jam, spicy olive tapenade dip and olive paste, are all produced by 27-year-old Calliope Palkopoulou and her family and exported to the US, Japan, Germany and the UK. They are also distributed to selected shops in Greece.
“The idea arose suddenly, but it took several tries to create the final recipes”, says Mrs Palkopoulou. She founded the “Odysseia EPE” company two years ago, through hard work, determination and a bank loan. In the meantime she selected the best olives for the various products. “Small dry olives from the unwatered trees of the Fthiotis mountains proved to be the right raw material”, she notes.
The company has won prizes for its recipes and holds a patent for a “New, Original Form of Olive Sweet Preserve Preparation”. Consumers generally prefer the sweet preserve and the jam, said Mrs Palkopoulou, while other products such as baklava filled with olive jam and olive halva are still at the testing stage.
Roughly two tonnes of olives are used every month. Last year the company made 120,000 euros profit. The company, based in Rahes, Boetia, is planning an investment of 800,000 euros through funding from the Development Law. This investment will cover the extension of existing installations and buy new machinery to meet increasing demand.