Working with his father in the Greek food business, Thomas Douzis was disappointed to discover that there was no single Greek brand that could guarantee a consistently high-quality array of products. Further, he realized Greek products were not as present on the global market as their European counterparts. Thomas set out on a mission to help people rediscover the magic of Greek gastronomy nationally and abroad.
Partnering with executive chef Dimitris Skarmoutsos, previously a judge on the show Greek Master Chef, Thomas created a line of affordable-luxury restaurants that are combined with functional grocery stores. He also leveraged a network of over 150 independent, local, artisanal producers that create 600 products under the unified Ergon brand.
The Ergon consumer brand was created both by Thomas and his brother George. Starting with honey in 2008, they soon assembled a base of 150 local farmers and over 1,200 carefully sourced products that it distributed to small food retailers. Many of the products have been organically harvested at rural farms.
The company offers the widest range of Greece’s top products through its network of producers, and although Ergon does not have exclusive contracts with producers, the partnership optimizes their production processes and gives them access to Ergon’s brand name and global customers. When Ergon enters a market, it opens a restaurant in order to build awareness for its brand. Thomas is an inspiring entrepreneur who can be a role model for how to get out of the recession, especially for the country’s youth.
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