Interview with Konstantinos Martavaltzis
Tell us a little about your company. When and how you started your business?
In 1969, Ghiorgos Martavaltzoglou, an Asia Minor refugee, sets up a bakery in his home village, Aravissos, Giannitsa, next to the archaeological site of Pella, where he makes bread and traditional pies. With a view to ensuring the quality of the raw materials used in the bakery, a few years later, in 1974, the second generation puts up a flour mill which grinds top-quality flour. In 1980, the modest mill grows into a traditional food cottage industry exclusively producing foodstuff from processed grains (hulled wheat, bulgur and wheat trahana), using traditional production and conservation methods. In the years to come, consumers’ trust and a rapidly increasing demand spurred the company into expanding to include the production of pasta – hilopites (Greek egg noodles), flour trahana, couscous etc.
The third generation is gradually taking over at the helm of the family business transferring production to the premises of a brand new factory equipped with state-of-the-art technology according to the ISO 22000 standards.
We would like to know more about the ingredients you use in your products. Where do you find them? Which are criteria by which you choose them, and how important are the raw materials for you?
• Top-quality grains
We have developed a great deal of experience and know-how in sourcing flour, together with lasting partnerships with grain producers for over 50 years. For three generations now, we have maintained strong ties with leading grain growers in northern Greece to secure the highest quality grains for our products.
• The heart of the wheat
For certain pastas we use semolina flour exclusively milled from the heart of durum wheat to ensure the highest of standards for our products’ main ingredient.
• Pure water
Our products are made with water sourced from the renowned springs of Aravissos, located in the North of Greece.
• Fresh eggs and milk
Our products are made exclusively with fresh, not powdered, eggs and milk, sourced from certified farms in northern Greece.
What potential do you think that Greek products have in the global market?
Greek products in general are considered as high-quality products. Moreover, a plenty of Greek products are renowned worldwide and have been consumed since ancient times (e.g: wine, honey, olive-oil, etc.). Combining the above tradition with the strong will of newer generations of producers to provide products of premium quality, we can say that Greek products have all the potential to gain a remarkable share in the international market.
What are the most important challenges that a Greek producer has to face today? And also, what do you love the most about your business?
Certainly, majority of challenges has to do with the deep economic crisis in the country, which affected all over the productive enterprises. Taking into consideration the high competition in international markets, we can clearly understand that a Greek producer has a lot of difficulties to deal with. But all the above can be overcome when you love your job. Thus, once you asked, we really love to emphasize in tradition with a simultaneous and consistent glance to the future, perform an on-going research for new flavors and ideas, and finally we love to provide an array of delightful reasons that will bring people around the table sharing joy and gratitude.
What do you think makes your products special? Can you pick out and present us the ones you think are more interesting?
- State-of-the-art technology
We are committed to being up-to-date with the latest advances in the world capital of pasta and use cutting-edge machinery to make the best of food science know-how. A selection of our products is made with bronze dies, a practice employed by leading pasta makers worldwide.
- Staying true to hand-craftsmanship
Alongside state-of-the-art machinery equipment and rigorous quality control, we value the uniqueness of hand-made products. We continue to craft a selection of our products entirely by hand, reviving forgotten authentic flavors and recreating traditional pasta making methods.
Our pastas are slowly air-dried at temperatures well below mass-produced pastas to retain their nutrients and unique flavors.
Why did you decide to put your products in a MontlyFlavors box? We would like you to send a message to our subscribers, in and outside of Greece.
We highly appreciated from the beginning, the enthusiasm along with the professionalism that MonthlyFlavors showed while approaching our enterprise. As we stated before, we love new challenges, thus we considered MonthlyFlavors’ concept as a really good “all new” challenge for us. Our message for your subscribers could be: “Embrace Greek high-quality products and you’ll never regret”!