Mr. Goudas was invited to Costa Rica, through the Cacia Organization, to give a speech to business and factory owners. Well yes, he gave the speech and came back.
But, now we had to go through some tough times with the reality in the logistics, labour regulations, packaging processes, distribution, promotion, sales...you name it! And why?
Because he made one single trip, with the initial purpose to just give an innocent speech, and he came back with a list of a dozen distribution companies, producing more than 50 products, which they all wanted to be introduced to Canada by Goudas Foods and wanted to start this international collaboration right away!
No one ever thought of us poor employees who unsuspectedly greeted Mr. Goudas back, thinking that our everyday routine could not be disturbed by one small innocent trip.
We actually thought that we were going to send him out of the office for once, to get some fresh air and a change of scenery, have a little bath in the mineral waters of the volcano area, and come back to his everyday activities.
Boy were we ever wrong!
One thing is for sure: From now on, no one will ever try to convince him to take a trip again!
Anyway...I admit that this visit to Costa Rica was not only full of opportunities, but also surprises.
After speaking with Mr. Goudas about it, I was amazed to hear all the stories.
One of the funniest things that happened, is that he mentioned in his speech that he saw a coconut tree for the first time in his life.
Yet, he is the largest importer of coconut milk, coconut powder, coconut cream, coconut flakes and coconut water in Canada!
In tropical countries, everyone has a coconut tree in their backyard, easily accessible to them.
Nobody thought of manufacturing and exporting to countries who love the products but who do not have a tree in their backyard.
As a result of his encouraging speech, Costa Rican factories will be producing and exporting coconut products on a large scale, or at least they will try to.
Another thing I found very funny was the picture of Mr. Goudas with two Costa Rican police officers.
I believe most of you know that to be able to join the police force in Canada, you have to be quite tall. But apparently, the standards are different in Costa Rica.
As Mr. Goudas himself proudly says for the first time in my life, I realized I was taller than some police officers! And to think that I am only 5 feet 7 inches tall! What a wonderful feeling!
I still laugh when I remember his sparkling eyes and that wide smile, while proudly saying these words. Well, even the "not so tall" people deserve a break, don't you think?
Speaking of police, I remember how Mr. Goudas shared another funny incident with the audience, while he was giving his speech.
He spoke about how he was warned, to not only take care of his belongings, but most importantly his life, while visiting Costa Rica.
Apparently, some people like to exaggerate their fears of foreign countries.
However, Mr. Goudas noted with a smile, that not only did he never feel in danger in this country, but he actually loved to meet Costa Ricans, and enjoyed their friendliness.
In his words, he said (despite all the warnings, I came here to see wonderful people and a beautiful country and I was not disappointed!)
Since his speech was very well accepted, many magazines published an article about his life story.
Even the most popular Costa Rican magazine, the Alimentaria, dedicated some pages for an article about Mr. Goudas' highly appreciated visit to the country, and his widely enjoyed and valued speech.
In fact, in several landmarks and tourist areas, there are signs with words like Mr. Goudas was here, or Mr. Goudas dined here, as well as posters with his picture.
During his stay in Costa Rica, Mr. Goudas also visited many different restaurants for their local specialty foods.
The restaurants always served two items on a little plate.
One of them was a black bean paste, and the other was a green mix of some kind.
His curiosity of this green paste grew with every meal, and he soon wanted to find out exactly what it was.
Not only did Mr. Goudas find out what that green paste was, but he even managed to find out the proper English name for it.
He talked to some of the finest chefs in Costa Rica and was able to make a recipe on for its preperaton. The taste of this green paste varied restaurant to restaurant.
After consulting some chefs in Costa Rica, he finally realized that this green paste consists of nothing but parsley and minced garlic, mixed with vinegar.
Mr. Goudas thought it would be a good idea to take this tasty appetizer and turn it into a magnificent product, by adding vegetable oil and cane vinegar instead of processed vinegar.
Hopefully, it would become popular in the Canadian market since not only Costa Ricans, but other South Americans are fond of it.
He also thought that the product should be in uniformed pieces, for each ingredient.
This magnificent product finally arrived in Canada under the Mr. Goudas brand, and we all had the opportunity to taste the wonders of Costa Rican chefs.
It is naturally expected that many will try to imitate this paste, as it is obviously going to become very popular in the food market.
Goudas Foods does expect a group of imitators to emerge, trying with their versions, maybe labelled Manager's Choice, Supervisor's Pick, my Mom's Old Recipe, and who knows what else!
This product is not only to be enjoyed by 4 million Costa Ricans it is meant to be enjoyed by the whole world!
No wonder Mr. Goudas has been chosen as the Costa Rican Food Ambassador to the rest of the world!
For anyone who likes parsley, and is immune to garlic, I recommend that you try the Mr. Goudas CHIMICHURRI it's the best the world has to offer.
Although, the name sounds Japanese, the taste has originated from Central and South America.
You will love it too!
When I asked for someone to bring me a jar so that I can see what this crazy named product is all about, I soon found myself holding the jar in one hand and a pita bread in the other.
I quickly figured out how to connect these two and in which direction. Believe me, the jar was emptied before you could say "chimichurri"!
Mr. Goudas was trying to take a picture of me eating the Chimichurri, spread nicely on pita bread with olive oil, and I tried to stop him, but my craving for Chimichurri was too much to make any major moves.
If you ask me how it tastes,
I think my picture says it all!
BY PETER SPYROS GOUDAS, JOHN MPARDAKIS AND SOFIA PAPADIMITRI
Spyros Peter Goudas
Σπύρος Πήτερ Γούδας
COSTA RICA BOOK
We dived into the thermal spring waters that are naturally created on the foot of the active volcano, Arenal.
The setting was breathtaking; surrounded by nature, waterfalls close to the volcano created the thick steam that gave us all the feeling of being in a dreamy land...
This country is one of the world's best secrets."
In this book, Goudas recounts his experiences on a business trip to the beautiful country of Costa Rica and how important it turned out to be -- not only for Goudas Foods but on a personal level as well.
Please Note: Salt is used as an ingredient in many recipes from all over the world, however, in this website, we have mentioned the ingredient salt, in the following recipes