August 13, 2019
Small Business Stories: Dafni Greek Gourmet
Author: Jen Amundson, Deluxe Director of Social Media and Communications
In our “Small Business Stories” series, we hit the road to interview small business owners about their unique journeys. Each story provides inspiration and insights, while shining a spotlight on the passionate small business owners who are so critical to our economies and our communities.
Melissa Rioux says meeting potential customers face to face has been a key component in her business’ success.
Melissa owns Dafni Greek Gourmet in Biddeford, Maine. She sells olive oil grown on her family’s farm in Greece and products made with it. A big part of growing her business has been going to area farmer’s markets and other events to meet new customers, tell her family story and help people understand the value family-grown products bring.
“It’s really important for small businesses to be able to tell their story,” she explains. “Customers are looking for a good quality product, but they also like the connection behind the product. I’ve been telling our story to everybody nonstop at events almost every weekend for five or six years.”
Melissa has quite a story to tell. Her family is in the hotel business, so her idea to import olive oil was a bit of a change. They’ve been able to combine the two in an interesting way that brings her customers even closer to their products.
“We rent out our villa amongst the olive farm in Greece,” she says. “So, we have customers telling our story, having our olive oil, staying at our place in Greece and enjoying the whole thing full circle.” That sounds amazing.
Melissa comes from an entrepreneurial family, which helped her in setting up her business. She also sought out training and support from local organizations to get started on the right path.
“I couldn’t have done it without working with local organizations, as I was setting things up and figuring out how to price my products. Our equations as far as wholesale and everything, I pretty much couldn’t have done it without the support of local organizations — and my parents,” she says with a smile.
You can find more ideas for meeting new customers in the Deluxe Small Business Resource Center.