Behind every product that participates in the Wise Greece Movement, there is a producer who generously gives their passion and love! Time to meet Vassilis from Berryland, who aims to make the daily consumption of superfoods an enjoyable habit!
Tell us a few words about yourself? How did you get started? How did you get the idea to deal with food?
I started in 2012, as I resigned from the private sector, where I received a salary of 370 € (!) and I had to choose between two solutions; one was I live in Greece and fight for it, and the other to go abroad … So I searched a lot and I ended up cultivating superfoods and creating innovative products from them! So we stayed in Greece and we are very happy with our choice!
Tell us a little about Berryland. What does it stand for? For what purpose did you create it?
“Berryland” was the name given by my wife to a small farm of ours, where all kinds of berries are grown. I liked the idea and so the name of our products was established. So Berryland represents the struggle and the effort and our anxieties and worries. A small idea that is slowly growing… When we started, we certainly did not expect our course till now …
How did you get started? What difficulties did you face?
I started with a dream… now let me say I live the dream! It seems that the improbable possible happened… When I started my son was already 4 months old, the salary of 370 € was not enough even for the needs of the little one, then I was stubborn and said to myself that now I have to see what I can do .. So I started with the idea of crops… and at that moment the difficulties started… I did not know how to plant, I had no idea. We also did not have land to plant … So the risk was great…
I start, I order plants and I am looking for an area … I find 10 acres, I rent them and I start with plenty of audacity … Fencing, plowing work that I first encountered, and then planting. Yes, but for the planting the trees also needed water … Here my inexperience appeared, since I rented a field that had no water! But even in this difficulty I did not bend! For almost two years I was carrying cans, the neighboring farmers were making fun of me and making fun of me; I did not put it down! Then came a privately owned area where we have beyond our berries, a small visitable farm with our two horses dominating the area …. Many difficulties as we were not farmers. But stubbornness and will lead us …
Tell us about your products. What makes them different?
We currently have 10 codes on food products and almost 10 on cosmetics from goji berry! We have goji berry pickle, goji with chili, tomato sauce with goji, vinegar with sea buckthorn, vinegar with aronia, submarine with bilberry and much more! The difference of our products lies in the fact that we have combined Greek cuisine with the superfoods that we cultivate. This is how special taste combinations have emerged, which make the consumption of superfoods… a pleasure!
Tell us about your raw materials and recipes?
I am solely responsible for the raw materials. I look every day for the best possible collaborations. Basically I am of the opinion that we have to work as a chain, that is, someone grows onions and it is a good product, then I get them from there, from another grower pomegranate, oil and so on … So I am sure that the raw materials come from pure growers and our product is very Greek! The recipes came after many hours of experimentation and discussions with our laboratories.
Are there any of your products that stand out?
I can not single out any. I feel the same proud of everything and I get excited every time I meet them on store shelves … However, at this time I can say that our two submarines with bilberry and aronia steal the impressions worldwide …
Give us some suggestions for your products.
The goji pickle is excellent in green salads, which can be combined with one of our vinegars and a few drops of Berryland petimezi. It also goes well with black bean salad, as well as with halloumi. With sea buckthorn jam we can quench our chicken, it is excellent for cooking due to the sour taste of the fruit … Goji with chili can be offered as a dip or added to any braised, tomato sauce with goji takes our spaghetti to the next level . They are products that can be intensified in our daily lives and we can enjoy the benefits of superfoods.
Can Greek producers make a difference in the crisis?
Greek producers in the crisis have made a difference! That is why many products have won the markets of the world and are awarded in international competitions. We have won the bet, I believe, it is a success for the submarine, which is a Greek traditional dessert to have won the German market!
What difficulties does the Greek producer face today?
The Greek producer today is only facing difficulties… Shall we talk about taxation? Taxes everywhere, bureaucracy on export issues and much more… However, our stubbornness and persistence keep us in the field and the hope that at some point the wheel will turn.
Why did you choose to participate and support the Wise Greece Movement?
As soon as I was informed about the Wise Greece Movement I said that I wanted to become a member of this group. It is something that expresses me and I do it with all my heart. I want to contribute to my fellow man!
Do not forget! The more products with the Wise Greece brand you choose for your daily cooking, the more you help the Greek economy, but also for us to offer food to our fellow human beings on the verge of poverty. Learn more!