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My YiaYia Eleni's Ladi (Olive Oil): 70+ Years in the Making

Ahhh – that nostalgic time of year when “the” shipment arrives at my parent’s house in Canada. Not in a UPS or FedEx box… not even through the national postal service… nothing as conventional as that. I’m talking about the shipment from Greece carrying some of the most precious liquid I have known my entire life – we are talking about my YiaYia Eleni’s ladi (olive oil).

Shipped directly from her village in Kalamata, Greece (Plati is the village name), these 18-liter containers are shipped in hand-made wooden crates, sent on a long journey with a local shipping company across the big pond.

About Kalamata, Greece – Olive Capital of the World

If you tone down the Greek accent and pronounce it slowly and with an American twang, most people have heard of “Kalamata”. Once you say this word, it is usually followed with the question/comment “oh, like the Kalamata olives?” YES! That is exactly correct. That is where my mother’s side of the family is from – lucky me! Growing up visiting every summer, we were exposed to the beauty of this seaside city and fertile land that is home to the world’s best-quality olive trees (and ultimately olive oil).

70+ Years in the Making

My YiaYia (grandmother) is well into her 80s with no sign of slowing down. For as long as I can remember, every year she would harvest olives from our olive trees, take them to the local press refinery (owned by her brother) and produce some of the freshest, best-tasting, purest, greenest, finest-smelling olive oil you will ever taste.

About my YiaYia Eleni’s Olive Oil

My family owns about 100 mature olive trees in the heart of the olive region – producing a total of 300 liters annually (output fluctuates based on local conditions). 300 liters may not sound like a lot, but it is enough to supply our immediate family, their friends and their friend’s friends with the best tasting olive oil for at least 2 years.

Packaging Up This Goodness

When friends and clients would visit my apartment in Manhattan, New York, I would always show off my YiaYia’s olive oil by letting them taste it, smell it and take home a small sample to use (reinforcing the point to use this olive oil to dress up the food and NOT to cook with). After rave reviews and repeat requests for refills, I decided to package some of this olive oil for a small sampling to give to my close friends. The result is the packaging you see here – YiaYia Eleni’s Ladi.

If we are friends (or soon-to-be friends), chances are you will receive a small sampling bottle to try out. And… if you like how it tastes, make sure to tell my 80+ year old grandmother that you approve – she will likely tell you (in Greek)… “no shit it tastes great”… and follow up with a huge hug and kiss.

Kali oreksi!

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BouliBrand is a boutique marketing + entrepreneurship + communications + branding movement focused on creating vibrant, purposeful and revenue-generating media experiences on a partner-by-partner basis. With strategic partnerships in New York, Toronto, Athens, Los Angeles, New Delhi and Shanghai, we work directly with savvy, driven and optimistic clients wanting to produce fresh platforms of communication and target nouveau markets internationally with their startup businesses and services. BouliBrand is propelled by Georgios (George) Stroumboulis (Γιώργος Στρουμπούλης) - an internationally seasoned marketing professional with tangible business experiences across multiple industries and diverse cultures. To learn more about BouliBrand, Georgios and the stimulating team spearheading the BouliBrand movement forward, get in contact at,, (@stroumboulis), (@stroumboulis),, or We all have opinions, thoughts and comments about various topics in our daily lives. Stroumboulis likes to write about his in this Opinion / Blog section. Topics and commentary may include: business, culture, Hellenism, entrepreneurship, start-ups, development, branding, marketing, financing, investment and many others. To suggest new blog ideas, please contact Georgios via his contact page at

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