Every new product that is incorporated into the ERGON range is selected based on specific qualitative and organoleptic features; it must be a unique product of Greek nature or ingredient of the Greek diet, or it must introduce a new gastronomic element. Each one of our products has a distinctive quality feature.
Our basis is the essence of the word itself – ERGON, a Greek word meaning work, vocation, but also the product of work.
At ERGON, we hold that people should dedicate themselves to doing what they know best – what they have been taught and love doing. This central tenet is expressed through the choice of our products. Every product series is sourced from different producers, experts in their respective fields; it has its own name and history. The unifying element is the ERGON brand name and quality guarantee.
We chose to redefine the meaning of “traditional” in regards to aesthetics and quality:
We source products and create packaging to meet present-day requirements and standards, while preserving the values of the past. With a contemporary sensibility and usability, but traditionally high quality.
Our goal is to make ERGON products available to the public through carefully selected retailers and outlets in Greece and abroad. Currently, ERGON products are available at 300 outlets in Greece; we also have a limited presence across Europe (in France, the UK, Belgium, Luxemburg, Germany, Cyprus, Serbia, and Poland). Our product series are also available in the Greek Duty Free Shops.
The first step was the start of a family business in Thessaloniki (with three generations’ worth of experience in the food sector), with the goal of promoting unique Greek products. In dealing with different farmers and producers from all over Greece, we realized there was a need to establish one unifying brand, that would guarantee the overall quality of a broad and diverse product range.
Our efforts were aided by a rise in awareness-building around Greek gastronomy, and the growing numbers of people involved in the making of traditional Greek products.
In 2008, our first branded product was created: honey under the name Melissas [Bee’s] ERGON. In the following year, we launched a series of products based on olives with PDO Kolymvari designation from Hania, Crete, under the name Elias [Olive’s] ERGON; at the same time, the Melissa series was expanded.
In August 2008, in collaboration with the Agricultural Association “O Pelekanos” of the Prespes Bean Farmers, we created the series Ghis [Earth’s] ERGON; at the same time, a new complete series of traditional pasta made with sheep’s milk from Sofades, Karditsa, was launched under the name Sitou [Wheat’s] ERGON.
In September 2009, two more products were added to the Ghis ERGON series: Wild Porcini mushrooms and Wild Truffle from the Pindos mountain range, which were named products of the year by the Greek newspaper “TO VIMA” and the TROFIMA kai POTA [FOOD and BEVERAGES] industry magazine.
In January 2010, our new category of seafood spreads was launched, along with the famous Tuna from Alonissos island, under the name Thalassas [Sea’s] ERGON.
In the same year, the ERGON product range was placed in the Greek Duty Free Shops; also, the Sitou ERGON cracked wheat won an award at the Gourmet Awards of the Greek newspaper “Eleftherotypia”.
In February 2011, the first ERGON Greek Deli store opened in the center of Thessaloniki (Tsimiski & Gr. Palama Sts), as the first step in the development of a retail network for the integrated distribution and marketing of our products.
In May 2011, the famous chef Dimitris Skarmoutsos joined the ERGON team.
In June 2011, the first ERGON Greek Deli – Restaurant opened at the Sani Resort Marina in Kassandra, Halkidiki. In addition to the delicatessen, the same space hosted a classic Greek meze restaurant, offering a menu of traditional Greek flavors re-imagined by the famous chef Dimitris Skarmoutsos.
In March 2012, our first combined (grocery and restaurant) store opened in the center of Thessaloniki.
INDEPENDENT GREEK PRODUCERS
In our attempt to redefine the term “traditional Greek” both aesthetically and quality-wise, we came across a dilemma: does “traditional” mean “old”? We then created contemporary products, packaging and recipes while maintaining traditional, exceptional quality. Our products are sourced from small, independent, honest producers who remain faithful to what they know best. Our product range originates from all over Greece. All products, packaged at the point of origin, have the ERGON quality approval, to ensure that traditional Greek produce meets 21st -century standards.
CONTEMPORARY GREEK CUISINE
And then, along came the deli. We chose not to recreate old-style delis from the past, but to design a new, modern space that would showcase our Greek gourmet treasures. Not necessarily “posh” but very contemporary, in a way that will continue to remain relevant in the future. We also wanted to ensure that our deli reflects the flavors, images and memories evoked by every single Greek product we stock.
TRADITIONAL GREEK DELI
With the ERGON deli restaurants, our goal is to redefine Greek recipes around the long-standing tradition of “meze” – bite-sized servings of exceptionally good food to be shared by everyone around the table. Dimitris Skarmoutsos, our chef, is one of the new generation of innovative Greek chefs who embody and develop the new Greek cuisine, always pushing culinary boundaries without losing sight of the food’s origin. Dimitris applied his considerable talents and, using ERGON products, redefined the traditional Greek meze for our menu.
DELI + CUISINE
After expanding our product range to include a sufficient number of products, our goal became to develop a network of concept stores in Greece and abroad. The idea was to launch a unique concept that would complement the development of our product range, strengthen our brand, and offer vertical integration of our products and services. This concept was a combination of a fully functional grocery store and a casual restaurant, in keeping with the standards of Greek traditional deli stores which, over the years, have disappeared almost completely.
And so we got started! Based on our established aesthetic sensibility, we created an elegant space at the Sani Resort Marina in Kassandra, Halkidiki. Our deli was complemented by a restaurant, which served modern versions of traditional favorites, created using ERGON products. In June 2011, at ERGON Greek Deli & Cuisine, our chef Dimitris Skarmoutsos created an entire menu based on our products. He reinvented traditional Greek meze dishes with traditional inspiration and contemporary preparation.
ERGON started as a group of friends. A group of people that wanted and aspired to work on Greek foodstuffs and gastronomy. Along the way, more people joined the group. People sharing a love and knowledge for the Greek cuisine completed the group.
The constant need for evolution and expansion brought to us many distinguished and young Greek chefs. The network of chefs of our stores in partnership with the chefs of the company creates a constantly changing seasonal menu enriched with local ingredients and recipes of every place.
Based on traditional recipes from all over Greece, the company’s chefs aim at redefining the new Greek cuisine.
The main body of ERGON recipes is enriched and adapted to the needs of every store.
The constant education and experimentation with new recipes and techniques coupled with the wide range of ERGON products compose the company’s creative menus.