Our Story - a Serendipitous Discovery
We (owners Darren and Jennifer Kornowske) were at a trade show in Atlanta, GA in 2015 for our soybean snack food company. During a slow period we decided to walk around and try some of the other products available around us. We stumbled across the Ariston Olive Oil company. After trying a few samples, we told the owner, Tom, it couldn't possibly be olive oil and balsamics...it all tasted too good. He proceeded to explain how the oils available in America were highly inferior because of the pressing processes and condition of the olives before pressing in this country. We were so impressed, Jennifer started telling our customers about Ariston, and sold a very large order of his products from our own booth.
That evening Tom asked us to go to dinner with him at Ruby Tuesday's (he did not enjoy the food but it was the only restaurant in the area he was staying at). Our conversation led to him asking what train we would ride in on in the morning which happened to be the red line (no pun intended). So he volunteered to ride the train with me from our hotel. This was a little peculiar to me, but I thought what the heck, let's do it. It turned out he had a mission in mind; he was watching to see how I interacted with the passengers on the train. Weird interview, but effective.
Tom later invited us to again have dinner at Ruby Tuesday's over the next two nights. He asked if we would be interesting in adding his products to our already busy schedule with our soy nut snack line. It took me about six months of researching him, the Ariston brand, olive oil pressings and techniques, and his farms in Greece before I decided this product line really does need to be in the US with more prominence.
Tom and Denise Doukas are amazing people. His daughter Stacey and her husband, Constantinon (Costa) Michalos, help run the shipping and distrubtion side of things in the US. In Connecticut, Martha and her husband, Sam (Themis) Roussis (also Tom's daughter and son-in-law), are the awesome fourth generation owners of the olive groves in the Kalamata region of Greece.
What started as a serendipitous discovery at a trade show has become a thriving business, and we are proud to continue to offer these high quality olive oils and products through Select Greek Olive Oils LLC.