-How did you decide to deal with herbs?
The idea of dealing with herbs arose in 2009 after searching for ways of land utilization my family had on the island.
After much study, research and quite a few we decided that the cultivation of aromatic plants was suitable for the existing conditions on the island (little water, low productivity fields, etc.) and in 2010 we started with the first experimental plantings.
Not having any special knowledge on the subject, experiments and mistakes follow one another and so we arrived in 2012 (after our estates had been organically certified) making our first attempt on the market, at local level, with a very limited number of products.
From this effort we collected experiences and comments, we returned to the design and the first products of Organic Islands in their present form (craft series) which came out on the shelves in the summer of 2013, always having as our priority the Cyclades market.
-The presence of your company is also very strong abroad. How did you manage that?
In 2014 having now added the cube series in our products we started our first exports on a small scale to countries such as Denmark, Germany and Australia. The effort to increase the export share constantly continues today and Organic Islands disposes about 40% of its products abroad, making our presence more or less felt - in about 10 different countries.
The company has been awarded for its products 2 consecutive years in the global contest Great Taste Awards, gathering a total of 7 stars and is one of the few Greek companies that have been awarded 3 stars for a single product.
-Why do you think people loved so much “Organic Islands”? What's so special you think they see in you rather than any other similar products?
The products of “Organic Islands” are loved by the world mainly for their quality characteristics. We strive to maintain a high level both in content (herb) and in our package, while maintaining a fairly competitive price. Although our products are organically certified, the company has an ISO 22000 certification (food safety) and our packages are also certified for use in food, while the level of our prices are often lower than other products which do not have the above characteristics.
-You started the whole thing in the crisis and nevertheless you were crowned with success. What do you think was your secret?
The definition of success is a very debatable subject and perhaps it means different things to every individual. Personally I do not consider that the company has yet reached the level we want and that we have before us a long way.
Nevertheless, it is sure that making such an effort during the crisis is not an easy thing and the mere fact that we are still constantly growing under these conditions could be called success.
However, if we are looking for some secret to this success, we will probably find the love for what we do, the continuous effort and tenacity that comes to lift you up and help you overcome the many obstacles found daily in front of you.
-Which products hold supremacy in the invariable preference of the world?
Oregano, particularly in tourist areas is definitely by far first in rank. From the cube series in total sales is first comes Euphoria, which was released in 2014, the award-winning Ambrosia 2015 and our new “Melodia” product, despite being only two months on the market is selling extremely well.
Conversation with the Maker