We had the honour to be featured in Four Magazine, one the most high end publications about gastronomy. Kostas Kontopoulos, CEO and Founder of Carpo, gives a glimpse into his life: from Carpo Athens to Carpo London, it is a five senses journey!
“I wake up at 6am and put coffee on to simmer and an aromatic smell fills the room. This smell accompanies me while I read the newspaper – these days there is no lack of surprises here in Greece. The road to the plant is filled with majestic sea views and a wonderful breeze, but also industrial views of Eleusis with its typical refineries. Entering the factory, I pass through the production site, between pallets stacked with nuts, with their scent creating the essential inspiration of each day. It’s strange: the first touch and contact with the nut defines my conscience. It is with stuff like this that emotional intelligence is charged. These very aromatic tones, strong and concrete, bring to my mind all the wealth of the earth; this wealth that we are searching for in every part of the earth, along with small producers from whom we always choose the very best products through rigorous screening. And when the earth offers its wealth so generously and wholesomely, without any reluctance, you have the obligation to discover it and to offer it to the people. I put my hands into the sack and the smell gets stronger. After I greet everyone, I begin by getting in touch with my contacts and gathering the appropriate information. The partners’ training is extremely important. The respect that we all have for the products and our common perception of things is a prerequisite for any business to exist, let alone a company based on the cycle of life and the intensity of sensations. The day goes on with such constant exchanges – from my brothers, Vasilis and Alexis, my main collaborators and with my partners in London, Lina and Zanni, as the three people who hold the most significant positions, being production manager, chief financial officer and personnel director. Product, service and staff are not divided, but go hand in hand.”
“The lunch break is a time of rest for everyone at the factory. In the dining room of the company we gather and eat together, relax, laugh and talk. Mostly by communicating, people emit a tone and a rhythm. You get a sense of the people and thus of society and the market. The market is tough like life. You have to be constantly vigilant, to plan ahead and to have the ability to listen, to process and react; to respect and appreciate, because nothing is a given. Every morning before I go to work, I feel like it’s the first day. I have the same need to prove myself worthy to all those who have been so supportive. So, the midday hours in the factory remind me how the life cycle of the nuts, the “carpoi” which are our brand, include in them all the people of the world who share the same beliefs with us, have the same hopes and live their lives with the same principles.”
“The afternoon walk is dedicated mainly to shopping. The treat with the scoop that always welcomes everyone, is an initiation into our experience, it constitutes true hospitality in our world. It was never some kind of “coaxing”, as we say in Greece: it is our desire, whoever visits us and irrespective of his choice to shop or not, is to return home with… another taste. In each place there is a festival. Jazz and tango, musical sounds from all over the world travel with us and manage to relax us. In this festival, different melodies are mixed with the smells emanating from the bakeries and the colours of dried fruits form a canvas. The participation of the people, their conversations and laughter, give off their own pace.”