She Brought her Passion for Greek Food to Boston

Photos: Theodora Tsevas
Photos: Theodora Tsevas

From handing out cheese samples at supermarkets to building her culinary brand in Boston, Alexia Hatziiliades, 48, founded her own importing and distribution company, “Alexia’s Real Greek Food,” to supply high-quality Greek products to Boston area restaurants, chefs and independent retailers. Hatziiliades’ family has been in the food manufacturing, importing and wholesale industry for years. Her brother, Paul Hatziiliades, is the founder of the popular “Olympiana” brand and her first employer in the food business.

“In 2014, I moved from Greece to the US, and that was when my family encouraged me to go into sales. I started by selling my family’s products, such as artisanal cheeses, olives, olive oil and feta cheese,” she recalls. “It was very challenging initially and I had no idea what I was doing. I would spend the day passing out feta samples in supermarkets or carrying heavy boxes of olive oil.” For the first few years, Hatziiliades worked exclusively promoting her family’s brand. “I did such a good job that people started introducing me as Olympiana instead of my actual name, Alexia,” she recalls.

Hatziiliades ultimately established her own brand “Alexia’s Real Greek Food.” Differentiating herself as Alexia’s Real Greek Food (originally named Alexia Communications) was Hatziiliades’ way of claiming her identity and owning the flexibility to put her own spin on things. In addition to distributing Olympiana products, Hatziiliades now imports and distributes other items like handmade pita bread, chocolates, Italian alpine water and frozen desserts, either importing them directly or through collaborations with other importers.

“The entrepreneurial journey hasn’t been easy, but the relationships I’ve created over the last 10 years have supported me and helped me through the hard times. Many of my clients and vendors have become good friends. If I had to step away from my business for any reason, I would keep the friends I made along the way,” she added.

Alexia’s Greek Food has grown steadily over eight years of dedicated effort. “For years it was just me, my dad and one driver. My father was helping me with the deliveries,” Hatziiliades said. She notes the importance of having a support system, such as her parents helping her in her entrepreneurial journey. “It takes a village to raise children. Greeks have a community around them and I found my village through my parents and my church” she said.

Starting a business in her 40s as a single mother with two daughters was not a choice for Hatziiliades; it was a necessity for survival. “Starting in your 40s isn’t late; it’s using a lifetime of lessons. Each experience adds confidence,” Hatziiliades said. “Don’t worry about being behind; focus on the advantages of age that come with more wisdom and more resilience. It’s the perfect time to begin.”

Still, she notes, there is a lot of uncertainty when working as an entrepreneur instead of holding a 9-to-5 job. “When running a small business, you do not get to see that standard paycheck,” she admits. Despite the challenges, she remains optimistic about the future of her company. “I have a calling to be the light, to use my skills and gifts to inspire the people around me,” she said.

Empowering others is a key aspect of Hatziiliades’ vision. She would like to eventually mentor people because she had mentors and people who inspired her over the years. “Work for someone you admire, because the value you are going to get will be priceless,” she said.


Theodora Tsevas

I am Theodora Tsevas, a Greek-American writer and photographer with a deep appreciation for Mediterranean culture and more. My work revolves around exploring new destinations, savoring local cuisine, and conveying these experiences through my writing and photography.



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