It was the Calgary Market Mall food court where Dorrie Karras first noticed the long line at OPA! of Greece. At that time, the Greek food stall was independent, and it was the combination of its famous souvlaki platters and the love of the food on the part of founder Niko Tiginagas that drew in both the curious and the hungry.
According to Karras, Tiginagas was a passionate showman who could sell anything and used to dance as he made the food from his homeland. It was 2001, and while the Greek stall was only three years old at the time, it was already on its way to becoming the largest Canadian Greek food franchise.
These days, Karras runs the original Market Mall stall, which is still as busy as it was years ago, and he's the CEO of the Greek brand and ringing in its 20th anniversary this year. This milestone is being celebrated at all of OPA!'s 95 franchise business locations that now serve up Greek delicacies across Canada thanks to Karras and the brand crew's dedication to Tiginagas' founding idea of serving up great customer service and top-quality food.
The anniversary is going to be celebrated in the way its original founder would have. Fountain cups and T-shirts will have the "Big 2-0" on them, and local cooking shows will be featuring the brand's famous recipes, including made-to-order calamari and hand-skewered souvlaki. Customers will also be able to proclaim why they love OPA! on social media for the chance to win a free catered meal for 20 people, and winners will be chosen from each market.
Brand Marketing Director Mike MacDonald says the customers who know OPA! truly love and are passionate about the brand and its food.
It's this enthusiasm, particularly among its franchises, that has helped OPA! become a mainstay in Canada with true brand power and will assist with the planned expansion in Western Canada for 2018, added Karras. The CEO also noted that OPA! stays true to the roots of the traditional Mediterranean diet, and while Greek food was more of a novelty in Canada when the stall first opened, it was also offering what other food court brands didn't at the time - namely, healthy fats like olive oil, lean proteins and fresh vegetables.
Supply Chain Manager Mickella Lycka said OPA! continues to keep entrees like its calamari, gyros and famous tzatziki sauce tasting good but also good for its customers by limiting portion size and sodium levels, and Karras also added that this devotion will never change, as the diets of customers evolve over time and the brand will continue to provide what those customers want.
To learn more about OPA! of Greece, visit them here at BetheBoss.ca today.