Industry News | October 23, 2009

Ethnic Food Provider Celebrates 35 Years

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Grecian Delight Foods, manufacturers and marketers of Mediterranean and ethnic-inspired foods for the foodservice and retail markets, is celebrating 35 years as an industry provider. A year-long series of company and customer events is planned.

An important highlight will be the opening in early 2010 of a new 130,000 square-foot baking facility in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, for flatbreads, wraps, and pocket breads. Baking will continue at the company’s current location, also in Elk Grove Village.

“Grecian Delight Foods has been on a steady growth path since the business started in 1974,” says president and CEO Peter Parthenis, Jr. “We’ve added new product lines and capacity in every decade. This is an appropriate time to thank our customers and partners, recognize our employees, and look forward to the decades ahead. Our new baking facility is testament to the continuing evolution of our brand and our commitment to a very bright future.”

Grecian Delight Foods was founded by entrepreneur Peter Parthenis, Sr. and is still family-owned. Parthenis, who holds a master’s degree in engineering from the University of Illinois, developed the Autodonor, a vertical broiler device on which a gyro meat cone is cooked. Now a staple in the industry, that improvement for restaurant operators led to the opening of Grecian Delight Foods, which originally sold only a “gyro sandwich build”—pita bread, gyro meat, and tzatziki sauce.

Today the company offers a full line of artisan flatbreads, signature sauces and spreads, specialty meats, cheeses, appetizers, main dishes, and desserts. There are over 300 individual items/SKUs in its total assortment. While the majority of sales are to the foodservice industry, the company has a strong retail grocery store presence with their Opaa! Brand of spreads, sauces, and gyro sandwich products.

Ongoing innovations include gluten-free and vegan assortments, as well as sustainability initiatives throughout the operation.

Grecian Delight Foods is represented by over 350 distributors, 60 brokers, and a direct sales force.

“Mediterranean-inspired cuisine is now embraced by many millions of consumers who love its delicious, fresh flavors as well as its outstanding health benefits,” says Parthenis, Jr. “Grecian Delight’s commitment to product authenticity and quality, customer service, and ongoing innovation put us in an excellent position to continue our growth as one of the premiere companies in our industry sector.”

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