Small Business Growth Stories: The Athenian

The Athenian

Company: The Athenian

Founders: Tim Vasilakis and Neo Christodoulou

Founded: 2014

Location: London and Bristol

Who is The Athenian? The Athenian was launched towards the end of 2014, as founders Tim Vasilakis and Neo Christodoulou set out to replicate the modern, Greek food they missed from their home country; aiming to do it justice by combining a home cooking method with fine ingredients.

Whilst the business has grown significantly in the past few years – opening two permanent branches in London, and one in Bristol – the Athenian has remained true to its values.

They are, and always have been, committed to sourcing their ingredients from local UK suppliers, as well as supporting independent Greek producers and farmers; taking halloumi from Messina, olive oil from Kalamata, and feta cheese from Peloponnese. But whilst doing this, aim to keep their carbon footprint as low as possible.

In 2018, the business are striving to generate zero plastic waste by using biodegradable packaging alternatives, and switching plastic water bottles to glass.

Using fine, fresh ingredients are at the very core of your company. How do you go about finding and choosing these?

“We have a very struct method of finding new ingredients and adding new menu items. We research a lot into suppliers and taste test quite a bit from different people before we settle for something.”

Expanding into a new city is a large step for any business, how did you plan and process the move?

“Opening a new restaurant in a different city with a different market carried a great level of risk as well as difficulties that we didn’t previously anticipate. We didn’t let that discourage us, instead we took it as an opportunity to introduce new items in our menu that are more targeted towards Bristolians! We noticed that the people who visit the Athenian in Bristol don’t usually share the stress and anxiousness of their London counterparts, and that Wapping Wharf is a more of a sit-down place with a nice and relaxing atmosphere, where young adults and families would usually hang out at.”


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The Athenian

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