One of the largest bakeries in Europe
brings life to Omonia Square
One of the largest bakeries in Europe is created by the company VENETIS in the historic building of NEON in Omonia, introducing a new concept of stores, VENETIS 1948. The company aims to revive the historic square and contribute to the revitalization of business activity in the deteriorated center of Athens. In addition to NEON, it plans to operate two more stores on Omonia Square, in the iconic buildings of Tsiler, Bagion, and Alexander the Great.
As stated by the Mayor of Athens, Mr. Giorgos Kaminis,in the press conference held on Monday, December 16: “Omonia is a symbol square for Athens. The concern to bring life back to it was our main focus from the beginning. Not only Omonia but every historic significant square that suffered from neglect. We provided incentives for businesses to return and become attractions for citizens in turn. As part of our effort, Omonia is evolving into a center of innovation and youth entrepreneurship. The business venture of the company VENETIS is considered extremely important for the area, and I sincerely wish every success.”
The VENETIS 1948 in NEON,an investment of 3,000,000€, covers an area of 1,200 sq.m..The choice of the neoclassical building of NEON in the historic square was a strategic decision for the company. In the context of its dynamic development with stores in the city center, it sought a strategic location with specifications that would allow it to create one of the largest bakeries in Europe in the heart of Athens.
The interior decoration of the historic building of NEON was done with absolute respect for its architecture and history, with no modification to its appearance and internal characteristics (ceiling, central column craftsmanship, railings). The priority was to highlight the history of the building without compromise, due to its commercial use. This is achieved through the selection of appropriate colors, materials, and lighting.
The exhibition “ATHENS 1865-1970” from the Benaki Museum’s photo archive, focusing on the history of the square and the historic center of Athens, is hosted in the mezzanine space and the rest of the store.
The new VENETIS 1948 in NEON will be a multifunctional space for flavors and culture, as the upper area will host cultural events, starting with this exhibition.
New concept of VENETIS 1948 stores
Following the rapid growth of VENETIS FOODHALL in the last three years, the new premium concept of VENETIS 1948 is based in the iconic building of NEON in Athens, while two more VENETIS 1948 are already operating in Kifisia, at Tatoyiou 110 and Kifisias Avenue 320. Two more VENETIS 1948 are expected to open soon, reaching a total of five.
The company VENETIS, a pioneer in the market, realized that the current needs of consumers have changed, as they don’t focus on bread, don’t have meals and work late. With VENETIS FOODHALL in 2010, bakeries transformed into cafes in the morning and after 12:00 into restaurants with light meals.
The new concept VENETIS 1948 store retains all the characteristics of VENETIS FOODHALL – spaces of flavors with comprehensive proposals that cover the consumer’s needs throughout the day, such as a complete breakfast, rich coffee varieties, branded sweets, and homemade food. In addition, it features the baking of bakery products in open wood-fired ovens and a wide range of bakery products.
VENETIS remains firm in its core principle, which is baking, but has created new product categories such as the gelateria, chocolaterie, beverages, food, juices, and smoothies.
Key features of the new VENETIS 1948 concept include:
Restoration of the operation of the historic wood-fired oven.
At VENETIS 1948, the traditional wood ovens come to life, representing a significant investment with high operating costs aimed at creating top-quality bread, pastries, and authentic Italian pizza.
Wide Range of Bakery Products
Selected, award-winning bakers bake a wide variety of bread daily, originating from different regions of Greece and Europe, such as rustic-Greek, monastic-Byzantine, Genovese, pavè, and Viennese. VENETIS 1948 also offers a range of bakery delights, with special emphasis on the sandwich category, offering high-nutrition meals for any time of day, made with fresh, pure ingredients and top-quality dough.
Greek chefs, led by Giannis Tzelepis, create a variety of daily dishes based on recipes from Greek and Mediterranean cuisine.
VENETIS 1948 includes top-notch patisserie creations with the Italian signature CRISTIANO V, featuring cakes, parfait, macarons, tarts, and delights made from authentic Belgian chocolate.
Especially at VENETIS 1948 in NEON, aiming to preserve the aroma of the historic café-patisserie, a range of traditional Greek sweets is offered, including loukoumades, baklava, galaktoboureko, kataifi, yogurt with honey and walnuts, rice pudding, and creams.
Cafe VENETIS – VENETIS Breakfast
Exquisite coffee varieties, hot and cold beverages, and nine different breakfast options at exceptionally affordable prices open up the consumer’s day delightfully.
GREEN Juice Bar
VENETIS’ new dietary proposal includes fresh fruit juices and smoothies for every taste preference: fruit smoothies, granita smoothies, chocolate and fruit smoothies, and light morning smoothies. Four proposals with high nutritional value providing vitamins and energy.
VENETIS celebrates its 65th year of continuous growth in the market as a Greek, family-run business. With innovative ideas, product reliability, and new store concepts, VENETIS has managed to eliminate its bank loans in recent years, achieving impressive financial figures. In 2013, retail sales across all VENETIS-branded points of sale are expected to reach €47 million compared to €40 million in 2012, marking an 18% increase. The turnover of the parent company, VENETIS S.A., is estimated to reach €23.55 million compared to €20.3 million last year, showing a 16% increase. Additionally, the company’s profitability is expected to reach €1.3 million compared to €986,000 in 2012, marking a 31.7% increase. The company achieved these figures by reducing prices on 200 of its products by up to 18% last year, taking into account the economic difficulties faced by Greek families.
Moreover, VENETIS has developed an extensive network of 70 stores bearing the VENETIS name. Out of these, 30 are VENETIS FOOD HALL, 3 are VENETIS 1948, and the rest are classic VENETIS bakeries. The company’s plan foresees the opening of 20 new locations over the next two years, expecting to reach 100 stores by 2016.
In the context of its dynamic course, the company is expanding internationally, soon expecting to have a presence in European and Middle Eastern countries.
Apart from opening new stores, the company’s investment plans include relocating part of its production process to a new facility in Bιotia, with new production lines. The new facility, costing €20 million, is expected to operate in 2015.
Finally, it’s worth mentioning that during the crisis, the company continually creates new job positions, has not made any staff reductions, and the parent company, VENETIS S.A., continues to maintain the zero reduction of employee benefits.
Exhibition “ATHENS 1865-1970”
from the Photographic Archive of the Benaki Museum.
The exhibition “ATHENS 1865-1970“, hosted on the mezzanine floor of VENETIS 1948 in NEON, includes photographs presenting a series of views of the city center, squares, and main thoroughfares. The iconic Omonia Square takes the lion’s share, with the majority of depictions capturing its various transformations over time.
The images selected for the exhibition from the collections of the Photographic Archive of the Benaki Museum include postcards, stereoscopic photographs, and reproductions of both old and modern black and white prints. The timeframe covered by the exhibition starts from the mid-19th century and extends to the late 1960s.
The NEON café first opened its doors in 1920 on the ground floor of the Carlton hotel and was for decades one of the most important meeting points for artists and intellectuals. Here, Giannis Tsarouchis found inspiration for his two oil paintings, “The NEON Café – Day” (1956-66) and “The NEON Café – Night” (1965-66), which are now housed in the National Gallery of Athens. One of the two oil paintings is currently displayed in an enlarged format in the space.
Curators of the exhibition are Ms. Georgia Imsiridou, Curator of the Photographic Archive of the Benaki Museum, and Mr. Leonidas Kourgiantakis, Photographer.
The exhibition will run until December 16, 2014.