Yiam is a family business that makes artisan traditional Greek products. Since 1999 our brand is synonym to quality and good taste. All our range of products is made manually, according to traditional recipes and methods, without the addition of preservatives or other artificial substances.
Our raw materials come from local producers from the region of Agia, in Larissa and of course from all over Greece. In all our products we only use cold extraction extra virgin olive oil. We choose the finest fruits, vegetables and other produces, and we always put quality ahead of profit.
Each and every yiam jar contains the Greek vegetable gardens, our sun, our best olive oil, our spirit, the mature fruits of Kissavos mountain, its wild berries, the herbs of our gardens, our love, our inspiration, the specific tastes that each season has to offer, the knowledge of our grandmothers, the heartfelt congratulations of all the dedicated yiamers, our bold, continuous search for the greatest flavor, and lots of yiam-y products.
Interview with Avra Panousopoulou from Yiam
Tell us a little about your company. When and how you started your business?
I have always loved cooking. I enjoyed all the preparation, the outcome, sharing it with loved ones at the table. My love for cooking grew stronger when I started producing my own ingredients. This happened when my family and I moved from Athens to a village in the country. I started discovering what it meant to produce your own food, from fruit and vegetables to cheese, meat and pasta, olives, marmalades, spoon sweets. Everything we did ourselves. We put such love and took such satisfaction from this, that we decided to turn it into a business.
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?
The good raw materials are the inspiration for each cook, and the more you search for the best ingredients, the more satisfaction you get from the final product. When I have freshly ground flour from a bio-cultivator at Farsala, milk butter from cattle that graze at mount Kissavos, eggs from my own hens, milk from Alexis and his sheep at Polydendri, the cakes I make have nothing in common to the ones you can find at a supermarket. We only use the best and most healthy and pure ingredients. This is not just a matter of quality and taste for us, it is a philosophy and way of living and doing what we do.
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?
Doing business in Greece has always been difficult, and it is even more so during the crisis. Lack of funding, red tape, too much time and effort consumed in bureaucracy, when one should be focused in setting up their business and making it work. You need to love what you do if you don’t want to lose hope and overcome the obstacle. This has been a creative investment for me, with many possibilities both in Greece and abroad. And even though sometimes we have to work more than 12 hours a day, we take such satisfaction when we taste our final products and see that people like them, that all the hard times and difficulties are forgotten.
What do you think makes your products special? Can you pick out and present us the ones you think are more interesting?
The way they are created, I guess. It takes a lot of thinking, fantasy, creativity. You mix different ingredients, first in your head and then in the pot. You add ingredients, try, reject, replace them with new ones. You are creative, free, bold. And it is all about the taste. This is what makes them different. They just taste great.
For me all our yiam products are special, each with its own personality. So I will just pick out the ones that our customers love the most. These are the Dry Figs in Mavrodafni wine with black pepper, the Sweet and Hot Florina Peppers and the Dried Tomatoes Pesto.
Why did you decide to put your products in a MontlyFlavors box?
I liked the idea of the subscription box as a means of promoting Greek traditional products. It is a very direct way for people abroad to meet the different tastes of Greece that small producers make. And for those who have visited our country and tasted its wonderful dishes, it is a way to live once again the experience of the tastes they loved, but can’t easily find these products at the shops where they live. I am very glad that yiam is a part of this tasty box!
We would like you to send a message to our subscribers, in and outside of Greece.
Something that people abroad may not know is that the financial crisis has made many people turn towards primary production. These new companies create little diamonds that have revived the local traditional products, and because of their small quantities they do not interest the big food industries thus protecting these small family artisans from mass production. I think that being a part of these efforts as consumers, by becoming a MonthlyFlavors subscriber, is a political action of thinking citizens of the world.