Greek cuisine has a culinary tradition some 4,000 years old, and it is an indelible part of the history and culture of Greece. Its flavors change with the seasons and the geography of its origin. Greek cuisine, historically a forerunner of Western cuisine, spread its culinary influences via ancient Rome throughout Europe and beyond.
The 28th Annual Hermes International Expo, sponsored by the Eastern Mediterranean Business Cultural Association (EMBCA) and the Queens Chamber of Commerce hosted the gala event “Taste of Hellas” on April 11, 2019 in Queens, New York City.
For over 28 years, the Hermes Expo has been a facilitator for Greek, Greek-American and American businesses seeking to work together in our Hellenic and Philhellenic communities.
The expo has developed into a networking and educational platform which brings together thousands of people each year from various professional backgrounds. It has become a diverse exposition catering to a variety of ethnic groups and business partners. Its motto is “it’s not about who you know, it’s about how well they know you.”
This year, the focus of the expo was “Trade, Tourism and Investment Opportunities Through Gastronomy” in honor of the sixteen businesses from Greece in addition to the American and Greek-American businesses participating in the show. Delectable samples of food and wines were provided by all the sponsors.
This year’s Expo participants included Eleftherios Kyriakakis, the founder of Mikel Coffee Company; Panayiotis Koutsikos, Chamber of Commerce of Bulgaria; Salvatore Ritorto, Exec. VP of Greencrown Energy; and Andreas Kelemidis, Owner and President of Oinos Wines. A packed hall listened to discussions on finance, energy, trade, tourism and investment opportunities in Greece.
Vendors at the gala event included the Swift Joy Harmony Company, whose founding members originated in Smyrna, Asia Minor; Helen Hovris of Med Professionals-Greece; Louis Katsos, the recipient of the “2018 Pan-Arcadian Federation Geros tou Morea Chapter” award, and Jacqueline Donado, an associate of the Queens Chamber of Commerce.
Ambassador of the United States to Greece, Geoffrey Pyatt, addressed the Expo in a letter read to the assembled crowd. He stated, “A key part of the Embassy’s work in Greece ls to build bridges for economic investment and cooperation between the United States and Greece. I also appreciate your ongoing efforts to promote commerce, communications and culture among businesses from both sides of the Atlantic.”
Aphrodite Kotrotsios, the newly-named publisher of the Hellenic News of America, told the crowd that “Prosperity is on the rise in Greece. Greek companies are once again looking for new opportunities in the United States. This year, for the first time, sixteen companies from Greece participated in Hermes Expo International 2019.
“Companies showed off Greek foods, wines and tourism opportunities. Greece presented products and services to American consumers and potential business associates. The Expo is a premiere destination for businesses looking to network and find new markets in the United States and abroad,” she added.
Kotrotsios has brought fresh eyes to issues facing the Greek-American business community.
“We need to combine efforts and work together to move forward,” she believes. “We are the next generation. It is up to us to keep the flame alive; we will pass on the torch to the next generations.
She continued, saying, “It is our duty to promote our Hellenic heritage. Helping one another prosper, grow and make a difference in our communities is our goal. We will fulfill this purpose as we unite, meeting the professional demands of the 21st century. We believe in our mission. The mission is you.”