From inception up until the setting up process, how did you start your business?
I have been involved in the liquor and groceries industry for the past 32 years as an owner and operator of several supermarkets and liquor shops all over Melbourne.
As a liquor shop owner I believed there were not enough Greek products available in the market and decided to start importing to supply the Greek community as well as to introduce some of the finest products Greece has to offer to the Australian consumers.
In 1994 Tirnavos Imports was established , and we began trading as an importer of fine wines and spirits which originated from my hometown of Tirnavos near Larisa in central Greece.
We were unloading containers at the back of my supermarket.
Since then we have expanded the product range representing the largest Greek companies such as Minerva oils and Athenian Breweries, moving to bigger facilities and supplying nationally the biggest liquor and supermarket chains in Australia.
What would you say stands out as the leading product of your business and why?
Some of the most popular products in our range include the first ever made ouzo in the world Ouzo Katsaros, Tsipouro Tirnavos, the increasingly popular Plomari ouzo and the premium range of Hatzimichalis wines and the newest addition to our range being Alfa beer.
How is business currently and how has it been affected by the global financial crisis?
Despite the current economic climate business continues with the same pace striving to always improve and grow as the market’s demands grow.
We further believe there is a positive shift in the perception of Greek products especially when it comes to Greek premium wines evident from the opening of a number of fine Greek restaurants ranging a broader selection of Greek products.
What is your vision for the future of your business?
Tirnavos Imports is a family run business dedicated to building strong relationships with both its suppliers and customers.
Our vision is striving to promote a taste of Greece in the Australian Market.
Do you have any tips for new entrepreneurs who wish to enter the import industry?
Times have changed since I entered the import industry. With time, hard work, patience, good business practices, good relationships and finally willing to take on the challenge of entering this industry there is always opportunity for new enterpreneurs.