klio-tea-27.jpgThe road to Klio really began with my early recollections of good nutrition, during my childhood as a Greek immigrant in Louisiana and Mississippi. This was in the midst of the processed food revolution, when the words “organic” and “whole food” were not part of the mainstream vocabulary. My parents, accustomed to eating a Mediterranean diet, recoiled at the notion of processed food and beverages - simply because they were not “real” food. In retrospect, I appreciate my good fortune. But as a kid I had a different perspective, ranging from a genuine sense of deprivation to acute embarrassment! Those were the days before it was cool to be different – and different we were.

I remember my parents excitedly pulling over to the side of the road when they spotted dandelions – their favorite greens. They would jump out and pick them while my sister and I dove into the floorboard to avoid being seen. I think normal people were spraying them with weed killer, while we enjoyed them with olive oil, lemon and salt! How amused was I many years later to see dandelions appearing on the menus of fancy restaurants in New York, and talk about a nutrient dense super food! 

Ours was a home where the garden was big, the food was whole and the meals made from scratch. The enticing supermarket foods, that kids loved to eat, were absent from our kitchen. Little did I appreciate that my parents (visionaries perhaps) were building me a healthy body and instilling in me the importance of a healthy diet – which I attribute to the high energy level and vitality that I enjoy as an adult today.  Although college and then a busy career on Wall Street conspired to pull me into a more mainstream diet centered on convenience, eating right and taking care of myself has never left my conscience and is now a top priority.

I recall my dear Mom talking about Greek Mountain Tea. When I finally managed to get my hands on some, it was love at first taste!  When I learned more and discovered its myriad health properties, I became hooked and my idea was born. Here was a natural herb, full of beneficial qualities whose consumption dated back three thousand years, to a time when we knew a lot less, yet a lot more; when the natural alternative was the only real alternative -  and who knows, perhaps it still is.

The more I explored the more I discovered about the qualities of Greek herbs, their health properties and historical significance; which fueled my desire to introduce them to markets outside of Greece.  I partnered with my cousin, Angelos, based in northern Greece, who tirelessly sources the highest quality herbs and manages our supply chain of independent growers and producers throughout Greece.  

I hope you will try these unique herbal infusions and make them a routine part of your healthy lifestyle of eating well, drinking well and being active. And let those daily moments when you take time out to brew and savor your tea be an opportunity for some quiet reflection on life – a stress free body is a healthy body!


Steve Raftopoulos