A Discovering Network asbl (ADN) is a non profit citizen's network sustained by voluntary involvement - We are one of you, a citizen that would like to contribute to a cause and a common goal.
Within the frame of the Mediterranean culture, diet, gastronomy, local production and tradition, we are trying to rebrand Greek products abroad and hold awareness raising activities for the Mediterranean region. Let's discover the Greek and Cypriot food and tastes and other products in Belgium.Here are a few ways in which we have tried to do that over the past year..follow us in this discovering journey
Get into the discovering mood.
- A whole year of searching for the points of sale of Greek and Cypriot products in Brussels. A mouth to mouth exercise and a real dedication from a citizen's network to share this information. Great discoveries..
Get the traders together.
- Two meetings in 2013 have brought around a table the majority of traders that are selling Greek and Cypriot products. A real discovery for all of us. New products have been discovered, a networking of traders has been created. This established members of the network were with us in several activities and events that either a Discovering Network asbl has organised for them or participated.
Get the consumers and citizens aware.
- A business to Consumer event called ‘A morning stroll in Greek tastes‘ was our first event. We timidly offered a small space to 7 traders who had mainly organic products from small producers in Greece. Our spirits were dampened when that morning began with a terrible snow storm. However, we needn’t have worried, there was a turnout of 200 people who, tasted and bought new found delicacies, as well as getting to know us and what we were trying to achieve. (Thanks also to the Saint Archangels Michael and Gabriel Church at Ixelles for their support)
- We have participated in many seminars, discussions within the European Parliament on gastronomy, innovative entrepreneurs and are constantly on the lookout for interesting forums that may help us understand how Greek products can escape the confines of their country and achieve steady exports.
Our participation in Schuman day was great fun for all involved as well as for the crowd that came in hordes past our stands to get a taste of the wonderful and unique food the chefs Manos Makriyiannakis and Giorgos Dimitriou had prepared. There were products from Crete and Mitilini on sale, Easter sweet breads, traditional cookies to be given away and that is where we launched our first COOK KIT.
12 HOURS FOR GREECE was in it’s second year of running in 2013. We were there, coordinating through our network a corner of greek products while we were handing out information, trying to spread the word about where high quality Greek products can be found around the country. We also invited in our stand the Association of Krokos Kozanis (Greek Saffron) and we offer them an additional venue for presenting the product. That day, our Paximadodako Cook Kit was launched.
- Discovering Greek Products in Belgium went on its first excursion. A taste of Greece in Antwerp was our destination, 17 traders were our partners ‘in food crime’ , award winning olive oils were there to be tasted and purchased, cooking classes were organised to show greek cuisine and more importantly roll out the perfect dough for the perfect Greek spinach pie were held. Over 500 people came to see what all the fuss was about, they travelled from around the country and Holland.
- Get into the Beauty Last but not least , is our interest in Beauty . Thus, we held ‘The Greek and the Beautiful’ episode 1, getting the ladies acquainted with natural nailpolishes. More episodes of Greek cosmetics will follow.
- Art and Food is a provocative culinary introduction to local products. With collaboration with one of our network members Periples we organised a culinary journey throughout the year. Our guests have discover a variety of Greek traditional products.
Get the products known at professional circles
With the Greek Embassy and Brussels office of Greek tourism we were invited to take part at Gastronomia @ Brussels || . We were able to get the traders in Belgium involved in the event by supplying their olive oil to the chosen restaurants thereby hoping to create new business ventures for them and more consumers to get to know the greek extra virgin olive oil. A special brochure with all the participating extra virgin olive oils was made.
Get into schools/universities
2014 is the year that we are starting our projects: What better way to begin one’s journey of the Greek/ Mediterranean diet than as a student. So, we took our project to the Greek Bureau of the Coordinator of Education in Brussels. A project under the auspices of the Greek Embassy in Belgium and the Greek Presidency to the EU is carried out jointly with the Greek Bureau of the Coordinator of Education in Belgium. A programme that will run in 2014. Dieticians, botanists and culinary experts will take on the difficult challenge of informing, and entertaining the students. Our hope is that they will take their new found knowledge and use it for a lifetime of health. Follow this project with us, take it to your school.
- Special questionnaires and surveys are used; presence in different fora and events; the creation of the COOK KITs; the idea of Depot; and last but not least the mapping of the points of sale of Greek and Cyrpiot products.
After blowing out our first birthday candle we think it is safe to say that we have begun to achieve what we set out to do.
A network of traders within the country has been established, they now know each other, can learn of products on the market that may be of interest to them etc. New business opportunities have been given through our network and contacts. A large number of people from different backgrounds have come in contact with Greek products they had never seen before. Many have become regular customers of these traders. We aspire to continue helping Greek products reach the consumer, thereby helping the economy of a country and its people to see better days.