Meet the Maker: Stayia’s Pasteli, Greece
Based in Evia, a fertile island just north of Athens, Stayia Farm is passionate about making honey and natural Greek products. Here, we talk to the founders Yannis & Stevi about the company to learn more about their delicious pasteli in the Greece Box. Nutty and subtly sweet, it’s the ‘original’ energy bar, and the recipe can be traced back to ancient Greece!
We’re so excited to partner with you! Can you share with us how Stayia began?
During the recession a while back, we were about to move abroad when we identified a gap in Greek apiculture (beekeeping) products. It was then that we decided to invest in innovation & extroversion by offering something unique to international consumers. A major part was the fact that Stevi’s grandfather administered beehives since the 1950s.
We’ve blended the new with the old to produce exceptional products now. Aside from honey, the traditional pasteli has taken the international markets by storm. Its simplicity of sesame seed & honey makes it an ideal and rich snack for everyone, anytime of the day.
Working off this inspiration, can you tell us about Stayia’s mission and goal?
We really hope to become the leading Greek supplier of exceptional products, like our pure honey and pasteli products, without compromising quality. Our quality control assures that the materials that are used are of high standards.
Believe me when I say that one of the common questions we get from customers & clients is: “are all the products made the same way?” The simplest questions is the most honest one: yes. All of our products are (made) identically the same, and you can taste this quality.
And how about your background, have you always been interested in business?
Yannis is a former accountant & marketing executive with a background of professional soccer (Greece, UK, Russia), and Stevi graduated as a nursery school teacher before making the big decision of staying to work in Greece.
What are three words that you think best describe your brand?
Exceptional Gourmet Prestigious
(for the quality, unique taste, and years of expertise!)
Last but not least, can you share with us the making process behind your pasteli?
Traditionally, there are two ways to make pasteli. You start off by bringing honey to heat until it reaches 120º-130 º celsius, and then we add the seeds and stir. The final product is the soft pasteli, and if we want the crunchy version, then we add sugar to the mixture. Did you know that honey has more than 100 nutrients and so does sesame?
The first mentions of pasteli in history were from Herodotus and Homer in Iliad. Pasteli is considered a traditional recipe that’s been passed on from generation to generation. Even so, there is still the concept of “if it’s not made in the village by your grandmother with village based ingredients, it still won’t taste as it should.”
As a Greek, I can say that spinach pies (spanakopita) don’t taste the same when I buy them from grocery stores. Maybe it’s just something we want to believe? We think small-scale methods add so much more than just value to a story? Our pasteli has the right amount of ingredients the way grandmothers used to make it.