I have nothing against ‘Made in China’. In fact, in my experience the phrase is largely misunderstood – China is a vast country and the goods that it produces and sells worldwide vary widely in quality. However, with the market for Chinese tourism in Greece growing year by year, it seems strange to me that a Chinese visitor may come to Greece and end up leaving with items that were produced in his or her homeland! I certainly feel that if I was to visit China, I would want to bring something back that was in some way authentic, and definitely locally produced. And as a non-drinker, kumquot liquor is not the choice for me!
So here are three other options to help you find your authentic, Corfiot product.
Simatis Leather – Shoes, bags & more!
In the summer of 2019 I discovered these delightful magnets – handmade in Corfu Town, using scraps of leftover leather from a shoemaker. Simple, affordable, easy to carry and locally produced from materials that would otherwise be discarded – it is hard to find a better gift or souvenir than that!
Handmade by Ddora – a line of beautiful handbags and accessories, handcrafted in Corfu.
Dora, the artisan behind the Ddora brand, grew up and lives in Corfu. Surrounded by pristine natural beauty, ‘thinking green’ has always been one of her key principles and this environmental awareness and love of beautiful nature is reflected in her craft and final products. Her packaging uses no plastic, all recyclable paper, and the dyes used on the packaging are all eco-friendly. Even the ribbon on the finishing comes from fabrics that have been rescued to be used, rather than new!
Dora’s crochet knitted products are the artisan’s way of combining her traditional skills with a modern sense of style, and the results are timeless and very desirable items! The products come in a range of colours, allowing everyone to find one to their taste.
More and more people are looking for uniqueness in their experiences, including in the products they purchase. Ddora is a perfect fit as the brand’s small-scale production allows for unique, high quality products, produced and packaged in an ethically conscious way.
The Governor – Pure Corfiot Olive-oil
To be honest, it was the packaging that caught my eye. A wide white bottle with a leather strap tied around the neck like a scarf, embossed with a shield bearing the familiar face of Count Ioannis Capodistrias, the first ever prime-minister of Greece, and Corfu’s most famous son.
What makes the Governer olive-oil special however, is not its packaging. What makes it special is that all the olives that are used, harvested from 500-1,000 year old trees, are Lianolia Kerkiras, a variety native to Corfu that stands out for their exceptionally high levels of healthy polyphenols and delicious, complex flavour.
I visited the press in 2019, and my view of the Governor as a special product was absolutely reinforced by the passion of the team, and their dedication to creating something healthy, unique and appealing.