Flourmills Thrakis: A Flourishing Legacy Rooted in Alexandroupoli

A thriving family business that manufactures high-quality products, invests in innovative ideas, and helps to keep Greece's periphery alive.


The history of Flourmills Thrakis is inextricably linked to the city of Alexandroupoli. The company’s evolution over the years is impressive, with each generation contributing new ideas and innovations.

It all began in the 1920s with industrialist George Ouzounopoulos, a refugee from Malgara, Eastern Thrace, which is known for its flourmills. Settling in Feres, just outside the city of Alexandroupoli, George built the region’s most modern mill, which featured three pairs of millstones. He quickly built two more flourmills in the Thracian towns of Peplos and Xilagani, the latter of which houses the Xylagani Folk Museum, where visitors can see the mill and other equipment donated by the Ozounopoulos family. ompany with cutting-edge equipment and expanded it by acquiring new mills. His marriage to Chrysi Gargana, the heir to a prominent flour manufacturing family, assisted him in expanding the company’s activities.

In the 1970s, the company adopted its current name: “Flourmills Thrakis – I. Ouzounopoulos.” At the same time, it began exporting its products and building new facilities in Alexandroupolis. The 1970s were a brief but prosperous period for the Greek flour industry, with many factories opening across the country in response to high demand for wheat and flour from African countries.

Ioannis was perhaps the family’s most prominent figure because, in addition to making significant contributions to the company’s modernization, he was also one of Thrace’s most important businessmen, serving for several years as Chairman of the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry and on the Board of Directors of the Bank of Greece. Flourmills Thrakis was one of Greece’s 50 most profitable companies in the 1980s thanks to his efforts, which included the construction of a cutting-edge chemical plant and the introduction of deluxe flour lines.

Flourmills Thrakis is now a thriving company led by Nantia Ouzounopoulou, a third generation Ouzounopoulos, that produces over 70 different types of flour products for professionals, primarily bakers, and has significant exporting activities. Every year, the company mills 75,000 to 80,000 tons of cereal from Thrace, Eastern Macedonia, and the famous wheat fields of Southern Bulgaria, as well as countries with cold climates conducive to soft flour production, such as Kazakhstan, France, Germany, Moldavia, and Russia. Following a quality assurance inspection at the company’s chemical plant, the grain is stored in silos. The cereal that is sieved, separated, and milled each day is carefully selected in accordance with daily production plans. Once the cereal is milled, flour from various varieties is combined to create the desired blends.

The company’s guiding principles are innovation and research: between 2010 and 2014, Flourmills Thrakis worked in partnership with the Department of Agricultural Development of the Democritus University of Thrace to test the cultivation of the soft-wheat grain that Evros, once the “wheat field of the Byzantine Empire”, used to be famous for. High-quality, old local varieties that were well-adapted to local conditions were chosen, and selected seeds were sown across 45 hectares of Thracian farmland. It was the first contract farming program to revive soft wheat cultivation from old local seeds, and 500 cultivators from the Thrace plain and Eastern Macedonia still participate in it today.

Flourmills Thrakis developed two new consumer-focused products as a result of this innovative collaboration: all-purpose flour and farina made entirely of soft-grain wheat grown in northern Evros. These goods are part of a small but select production that contains no improvement agents or preservatives and is sealed in special packaging with carbon dioxide to prevent oxidation and preserve the product and its organoleptic ingredients.

 

It is worth adding that the company has a subsidiary in the US that manufactures cookies and health food products that can be found in all major American grocery chains, under the direction of Ioannis, a fourth-generation Ouzounopoulos. Flourmills Thrakis is a successful family-owned business that produces quality foods under a strong brand name. It is also one of the largest suppliers to quality bakeries and artisanal food producers. It exemplifies healthy entrepreneurship by constantly seeking innovation, focusing on the future, and producing high-quality products for both professionals and customers. Above all, it is a strong company that contributes to the survival of Greece’s peripheral regions.

Flourmills Thrakis won First Prize at the 16th Gastronomos Quality Awards, organized by Gastronomos, Greece’s leading food magazine and held in December of 2023.

This article was previously published in Greek at gastronomos.gr.

INFO

Flourmills Thrakis, Alexandroupoli, Tel. (+30) 25510.262.59

Where to find: Sklavenitis Hypermarkets, Evroshop Markets, Thanopoulos Supermarkets and local supermarkets throughout Greece.



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