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An Interview With Petros and Catherine Konsoulas. By Kajsa Kinsella

· Interviews,Top Stories

"We are an Irish company with Greek roots."

Greek produce for and by The Soul Of Crete, Interviewed by Self Starter Magazine April 2018

Undoubtedly, there are places in the world and moments in time, which will have an enormous amount of impact on our future lives, whether we realize it at the time or not.

For Catherine Konsoulas, a lazy and warm summer holiday on the stunning island of Crete in 2002 was one such moment in time; one that would change her life forever.

This was when she met the dashing Petros Konsoulas and as fate would have it, they fell in love head over heels. So much so, that Catherine ended up staying not only for the remainder of the vacation but for a couple of years, immersing herself in the rich ancient Cretan culture and food traditions.

The more time she spent in the fruitful and bountiful Greece, the more she became enthralled by the many wonderful flavours and textures it had to offer, and she truly valued the organic ways of using natural ingredients in each meal and product.

As luck would have it, Petros was very interested in nutrition and active in the fitness industry and he, of course, having grown up with this endless wealth of clean, fresh food, shared her passion for great quality food produce.

After a few years, the couple made the decision to move back to Ireland in 2005 and set up home in the beautiful County Carlow. As they started investigating the availability of Greek food produce in Ireland they found that it was very sparse in comparison to in particular the Italian food market. It was evident that the Greek pallet was much underrepresented, which prompted the pair into action.

To start out with, Petros and Catherine began importing and selling the very best of award-winning Cretan olive oil in various sizes, which became an instant success and in 2015, the couple was accepted into the SuperValu Food Academy Programme, mentored by Musgrave’s and Bord Bia. This was, of course, a fantastic opportunity, and although neither Catherine nor Petros had any prior production experience in actual producing of artisan foods, they went headlong into this exciting challenge, which was going to test the strength of their passion and dedication ten times over.

Through the completion of the programme, The Soul Of Crete had their Greek products placed on the shelves of various Super Value stores in Ireland, and to date, they have two very busy distributors. Although their selection of delicious Cretan foods and ingredients has increased with items such as Baklava, herbs and spices, fresh olives, sauces and dips, their pride and joy is, of course, their own produce, the Plain and Chocolate Tahini.

Chocolate Tahini by The Soul Of Crete, Interviewed by Self  Starter Magazine April 2018

Petros and Catherine`s little son Billy was, as most kids are, a dedicated chocolate spread fan, but when the couple realized what actually goes into a jar, they decided to make their own. Astonishingly the amount of sugar contained in a jar of chocolate spread was astounding-over 50% per jar is pure sugar. The Soul Of Crete`s Chocolate Tahini contains a mere two teaspoons of brown sugar and no palm oils, but only honest, natural good ingredients.

The Soul Of Crete Logo, interviewed by Self  Starter Magazine April 2018

Once the production had outgrown the HSE approved home kitchen, the business found premises, only 10 minutes away from where they live where now a "Blitzer" machine takes center stage, blending the sesame seeds in next to no time, helping to speed up production immensely.

As luck would have it, Petros was able to also rent storage facilities for their production in the same premises, which makes the entire process run very smoothly.

The future looks very bright for The Soul Of Crete, and we, as consumers can look forward to many more delicious meals, snacks, and recipes from this dynamic duo from County Carlow!

Petros and Catherine Konsoulas of The Soul Of Crete, interviewed by Self Starter Magazine April 2018

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