Taste Greece is a successful food importing business located in Auckland and was one of the first to introduce the New Zealand market to a huge variety of authentic Hellenic products, which are carefully sourced from all parts of Greece.
Owners Ioannis and Emily Montes originate from Athens and moved to New Zealand back in 2010, when they also launched their business. After years of hard work, they have managed to establish themselves as the only specialised Greek product importer in New Zealand and have also opened a retail store Little Greece.
All of their products are imported from various areas in Greece, including Kalamata, Crete and Evia and items range from olive oils, olives, cheese, stuffed vine leaves (dolmades), vinegars and many more traditional delicacies.
Taste Greece also offer small catering services, with traditional Greek dishes, such as moussaka, pastitsio, gemista, melitzanosalata, tzatziki, and spanakopita, which is all freshly made.
We had a quick chat to CEO Ioannis, about his family business and love of Greek food.
What was the concept behind Taste Greece?
The concept behind Taste Greece was to bring Greek food to New Zealanders. Coming from Greece and having a passion for our homeland products we thought it would be a good idea to share our passion with New Zealand’s consumers, as many have visited our home country and love the local cuisine.
When and how did Taste Greece come about?
We wanted to get away from life in Athens and I always enjoyed visiting my mother’s home land of New Zealand. Six years ago, in 2010, we founded Taste Greece after arriving in New Zealand. I was missing my country’s gastronomy and excellent quality olive oil that we could use in abundance. That is what sparked the business idea to import olive oil and other goods from Greece.
Have you always had a love of Greek products and food?
Yes, of course. Our gastronomy is very unique.
What is it that you look for when sourcing Greek products for your store?
All of our products are Greek and imported directly from Greece. When sourcing Greek products for the store we first search for the best possible quality at affordable pricing, as well as innovative ideas and products for the New Zealand market.
What have been some of the most popular products to date in New Zealand?
The most popular products to date in New Zealand are feta cheese- traditional with sheep and goat’s milk blend, extra virgin olive oil and our variety of olives.
Do you find that people in New Zealand like cooking with Greek products?
Yes, once they try Greek products and cooking Greek cuisine they come back for more.
Are all of your Taste Greece products offered nationwide?
All of our products are offered nationwide and we also occasionally export to Polynesia.
Do you travel to Greece often?
I travel to Greece approximately once a year and it mostly involves business travels.
Where from Greece are you from and how long have you been living in New Zealand for?
I was born and grew up in Athens and I’ve been living in New Zealand for six years now.
What Greek food do you love tasting most?
My favourites are pastitsio and giouvarlakia.
Are most of your customers Greek or non-Greek?
They are actually a combination of Greek and non-Greek New Zealanders.
Any new or exciting products that will be on offer at Taste Greece?
We always have new exciting products that we want to try and look forward to importing and presenting to our customers and they will be available soon.