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In this article, you will find some of the oldest companies in Greece, their history, and their products.
- Achaia Clauss
In 1861, Gustav Clauss from Bavaria, visiting Patras to work there, had the vision of cultivating a vineyard in the region. As a result, he established a winemaking company and built the Winecastle, which still stands out today. The small winery became a large one very soon, and the company obtained fame, many fans, and, of course, a lot of money. His sweet red wine was called “Mavrodaphne.” He gave that name to his wine in order to remember his ex-girlfriend, Daphne, from Greece. Mavro, in Greek, means black (the girl had black eyes), and he added her name, Daphne. Unfortunately, the girl died at a very young age.
This company dates back to 1888. Spyros Metaxas founded the company, which belongs to the liquor sector and produces the famous Metaxa spirit. The drink is a combination of specialty wine and botanicals from the Mediterranean. There are seven variants: Metaxa 5 stars, Metaxa 7 stars, Metaxa 12 stars, Metaxa Grande Fine, Metaxa Angels Treasure, Metaxa Private Reserve, and Metaxa AEN. It is distributed in more than 50 countries all over the world. Metaxa, since 2000, belongs to the Rémy Cointreau Group.
The company started its operations in 1858 in Thessaloniki as a flour milling enterprise. The company expanded during the years and, in the 1930s, had its own new flour mill, the largest in the Balkans. Nowadays, after many changes in the ownership figure, the company is owned by the ELBISCO Group, known for its biscuits. The company also had a ceramic product line.
- Estia Newspaper
It is a historical newspaper that was founded in 1876 as a literal magazine and then became a daily newspaper. Estia is still published. Its name comes from ancient Greece, and it is considered to follow a conservative political alignment. If you get a paper in your hands, you will see the differences as it uses a different orthography.
In Greek, “Kyknos” means swan. This company started its operations in 1915 in Nafplion. Its main activity is tomato processing for the production of paste. The company’s founder was Michail Manoussakis, who wanted to interfere with the manufacturing industry, although he was a physics teacher. Kyknos’s logo is a swan, and the cans have red color.
- Piraeus Bank
Its foundation dates back to 1916 when several shipowners decided to make such an investment to help them finance trade in the long run. Nowadays, it has 408 branches in Greece and abroad. During those years, the Greek government acquired the bank and then privatized it again. The state holds 61% through the Hellenic Financial Stability Fund. The revenue in 2020 was 1.893 billion euros.
The company was founded in 1924 in Volos. The founders were the Kosmadopoulos brothers. It has a production line for beverages and natural juices. When it started its operation, it produced only lemonade, which is a unique recipe that remains the same today. Nowadays, it has more than 100 employees.
- Hellenic Halyvourgia
This is the union of two historic companies, the Greek Steel Industry and Halyvourgia Volou, creating Hellenic Halyvourgia in 2006. It is the first steel industry in Greece and one of the largest industries in the country. The Greek Steel Industry was founded in 1938, and the Halyvourgia Volou was founded in 1963. The historic Rupel fort in Macedonia is built with iron from the Hellenic Steel Industry. It is currently a leading force with the necessary know-how and experience to meet future challenges.
- Hellenic Petroleum
It is a part of the energy industry and was founded in 1958 as the Public Petroleum Corporation. The company has more than 3,500 employees. In 2021 the revenue exceeded 9 billion dollars. Paneuropean Oil and Industrial Holdings own 47% of Hellenic Petroleum, while HRADF owns 35.5%. Andreas Shiamishis holds the CEO position, and Yannis Papathanasiou holds the position of Chairman.
- Hondos Center
The company was founded in 1967 and is considered a giant in the beauty retail market. It is one of the best-known beauty chains with many stores all over Greece. More specifically, Hondos Center has more than 70 stores in Greece. It is a family business that started from the vision of five brothers to leave their mark in the beauty sector.