Stavroula Kardambiki: The microbiologist who left Athens to open a canteen in Agrafa

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Stavroula became the owner of a mobile canteen and travelled with Roula's Van in Evrytania.

She studied as a microbiologist's assistant and practised at the 401 Military Hospital and the Athens Naval Hospital. She worked for several years in her profession and, at the same time, put focus on her life.

Stavroula Kardambiki finished school in Granitsa Evrytania and then left for studies. She lived in Athens for 14 years, but recently, she decided to take an important step toward change in her life.

"When I made the decision to leave Athens after 14 years, I was sure of the decision because I had been thinking about it for almost one year," she said.

The fatigue of Athens

In our conversation, it's clear that the city was pushing her. She wanted to wake up in nature. She wanted to have the freedom of choice and direct contact with her people.

"I was very tired of the rhythms of Athens, and I wanted a better quality of life. Things in Athens have changed a lot, especially after COVID. I wanted peace of mind. I may have had a job, but my priority is my psychology," Stavroula said.

The first mobile canteen in all of Evrytania

She leaves behind her the big city, the most intense life and decides to move to Agrafa, in Evrytania, next to Lake Kremasta, in the settlement of Agios Georgios.

"I come from Granitsa, and my parents live there together with my great weakness, my little brother, Christos. I have another two siblings, Vasiliki and Kosmas," she told me when we met her by the lake, where she had started her new venture.

Stavroula could not be confined to the four walls of an office.

She didn't want to live in a big city, so she explored the possibilities of running a canteen for about a year and then moved her venture to the Evrytania area.

"I set the procedures in motion to learn the steps needed to start a canteen. After two months and after providing all the necessary, I got a canteen, specifically a mobile canteen. My joy was indescribable. It would be the first mobile canteen in all of Evrytania," she said.

The headquarters of the canteen is at the Paleochori pier, but it has the possibility to go to any village or town where there will be an event or where an event needs to be held.

Every day, Stavroula opens the canteen, prepares her ingredients, does the tests and is ready to offer original sandwiches, salads, drinks, and cocktails.

She uses ingredients from the region,  to revive her taste memories, and, at the same time, creates innovative products.

"It's a different everyday life. It's a different life ", she tells us with her face shining and her smile permanent.

"The local community has embraced me. It is something that they wanted, and I hope that my move will gradually help the region's tourism industry in general. Evrytania has amazing beauties, many of which are still hidden. We all have to show our best selves so that this region reaches where it should and can," Stavroula added.

Roula's Van is ready for new adventures and beautiful experiences in the Agrafa area. Every weekend, she will be at the pier of Paleochori in Agios Georgios.

The detailed program can be learned through her social media.

Instagram: kardampikh

Dimitri Stathopoulos is a columnist for Travel.

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Guest Contributor

This piece was written for Greek City Times by a Guest Contributor

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