The first one dealt with the art of pastry was Stavros Athanasiou, who has been and still is an inspiration source to all of us. In 1912, Stavros started working at a bakery in the city of Ioannina, Greece. He had the opportunity to work along with a recognized artisan, and that motivated him to move along to Peloponnese two years later. There he discovered his passion and charisma in this field and was soon initiated into the secrets of the profession. He was specialized in ‘samali’, a traditional delicacy from Istanbul, and later he opened his own patisserie in the city of Kalamata, Greece selling ‘samali’, candies and other pastries.
His eldest son, Pantelis, started from an early age, helping him to work. In 1938, he decided to follow his father’s footsteps. He started making traditional sweets in his small workshop during the winter and ice-cream in the summer. He was the one that made ‘samali’ popular, going around the streets of Kalamata with a tricycle bike filled with traditional sweets pastries. Pantelis, with his wife Maria always at his side, served the art of pastry with love and dedication for over five decades. This journey lasted until 2000.
At the same time their children, George and Stavros, decided to follow in the path of their father. In 1988, they moved in wholesale, creating traditional sweet pastries they have learned from ‘Kyr-Pantelis’, as they called him in the neighborhoods of Kalamata. Four years later, his elder son, George with his wife Maria, decided to move on to the retail sector.
Continuous travels of George and Maria in Europe and worldwide, played an important role in their differentiation from the local market. The new European style bakery-patisserie ‘Athanasiou’ store, in Faron Street, was established in 1992 and was a great success, creating fertile ground for future stores. The first café of the chain opened in 1997, in the town center of Kalamata city. A new place with friendly, warm environment designed to accommodate coffees and beverages accompanied by a large selection of pastries and other delicacies.
In 1998 the company crossed the Atlantic, opening its first pastry shop in Boston, and its café in 2005, transferring all the aromas and flavors from Europe to the United States.
In 1999, a new café opened in the port of Kalamata city, Greece. This store was considered to be very innovative at that time. The biggest part where pastries are produced and prepared remains visible, allowing our customers to observe closely the entire production process.
The fourth store was opened at the entrance of Kalamata city in May 2004. Strategic purpose of this move was to serve the suburban but also the visitors of Kalamata. The fifth store, our ‘Gelateria’, was opened in April 2008, following the same concept; the ice cream is also produced in front of the customer. Our most recent store is located very close to the main square of Kalamata, at Nedontos Street. A big part of our production is visible there as well, demonstrating our dedication to high quality ingredients, service and above all respect for our customers who have been following us for the last 20 years!