Profile: Tsitsiri Kombucha, Athens, Greece
In May and June I traveled to Greece and Turkey on vacation. This is the first of a series of Profiles from the trip.
George started brewing kombucha in 2007 when he ran a vegan restaurant, but the lack of mainstream acceptance deterred him from launching commercially.
Back then, he knew kombucha was taking off, but Greece just wasn’t ready for it. It didn’t stop him, though. Inspired both by a Greek pal who was in the business in the States, and the initiative of Troo Brew which had started selling kombucha in Athens, Tsitsiri Kombucha was born in 2020.
His venture was helped by the grant of a 60,000 Euro line of credit from the EU, which reimburses his expenses as he submits receipts. He’s a one-person operation, relying on outside canning and bottling facilities to produce a maximum of 1,000 bottles a month.
He is also getting marketing advice from the business school students at Alba University who are helping prepare a presentation for potential investors.
There’s a refreshing selection of organic, unpasteurized Original, Lemon Ginger, Sour Cherry, and Blueberry.
In addition to his regular booth at Meet Market events (held multiple times a year), you can find Tsitsiri in several locations in Athens, including 4 Seasons Bio, Athens Vegan Burger, Lot 51 Cafe, and the Avocado Vegan Cafe. Expect to pay around 5 Euro a bottle.
Kombucha in Greece
George accepts that it is still early days for kombucha in Greece. He sees huge potential to serve the tourist market, both in Athens and the popular destinations on the Greek Islands. However, his raw kombucha requires cold chain distribution. This makes supplying remote islands a challenge.
For now, he’s happy to introduce people to his kombucha, one bubbly ΤΣΙΤΣΙΡΙ at a time.
Check out the podcast to hear George tell the story of Tsitsiri Kombucha.