Christmas celebrations can come to an end and you may have not tasted handmade sweet treats, but the Women's Cooperative at Christos Rachon is open and awaits you all year round in the village square.
Fixed value for those visiting Ikaria.
This year, however, their vision is greater: expanding their productive potential by renting a larger space, buying new equipment and creating a larger cafe. And of course, with the production of more, more quality and new products, they will also be able to get the coveted certification to export their products to a wider audience and offer more jobs.
A few words about the creation of the Cooperative
"Women's Cooperative" started in 2009, initially with 11 women, and in 2017 there are 6 active members. It is a multicultural marriage with women from different nationalities: German, Italian, Greek ... and they all chose Ikaria as a place to live and work.
'Our goal was and is: to work with the products of Mother Nature in Ikaria, to maintain traditional recipes, to work with women in Ikaria and to work closely with local farmers who share our ideas for sustainable agriculture . Our idea succeeded and in 2009 we opened our shop where we sell our products and homemade cakes. Through our work we offer permanent jobs to 7 women and we hire 3 additional women during the summer months. As we process about 2 tons of fruit and vegetables a year, we also help local farmers.
We believe that our work will allow us to stay on the island, give our families and the farmers' families we work with, an opportunity to stay in Ikaria and develop a future in the environment we want to live. That is why we are here in Christos Rachon that is why we love what we do ... and we will do our best to preserve our co-operation. We see our future in Ikaria ... leaving this place is no choice for us. '
Meet the team
- Each team needs a coordinator to accomplish its goals. This is not the easiest job, but Gabi took the initiative when the idea of creating a women's cooperative in Ikaria was born. Since then he has been involved with all the background work necessary to manage the everyday life of our business. Gabi is from Northern Italy and came to Greece 25 years ago. She settled in Ikaria, made a family, and her cohabitation became her third child. Gabi is one of the driving forces of the cooperative and its purpose is to expand the business by creating a professional kitchen to export the products. The idea of strengthening cooperation with local fruit and vegetable producers to produce more high-quality products is at the heart of it. He believes that through this project it is possible to create dynamic professions in Ikaria, which will especially help young women to develop prospects for work and living on the island.
- Danae, the youngest member of the cooperative, is the best proof of a different attitude and decision of life for the new Icarians. Danae is Gabi's daughter, around twenty, and is a Icariot of Italian origin. After finishing high school in Ikaria, he completed an agro-tourism apprenticeship specializing in marketing. He is interested in the future of the island and participates in discussions on organic farming, the low growth of tourism and the preservation of the traditions and nature of the island. He lives in Ikaria all year round, and he knows about the lack of water, electricity and heating during the winter. It is therefore natural for her to work in a cooperative since she was almost born, grew up and watched her fluctuations over the years. It is now her turn to propose new ideas. So in summer you can see it everywhere you need it: Serves in the cafeteria, makes jams, harvests fruits and herbs and makes the mazes.
- Helen is always around. She joined the partnership four years ago, replacing her mother. Since then he has been preparing our jams and sweets, such as biscuits, cakes and baklava. Her smile brightens our days. Eleni is from Ikaria, grew up here, is mEach team needs a coordinator to accomplish its goals.
- Toula, another founding member of our cooperative, who specializes in making soaps uses local ingredients and achieves a wonderful result. Its soaps, sold in the small blue bag, will be found in our store. And you know something? They do not just fit your travels, but also your home. They will help you remember the smell of Ikaria and your passage from our store. What more can you expect from a souvenir?
- Weaving is one of the traditions of the lady that they want to keep. Maria, one of the founding members of the cooperative, is wearing and has learned the weaving from a small one. She has a loom in her house and produces small rugs and bags that you can buy from our store. So we have it all in one: local production and preservation of tradition.
What can you do
If you found all this interesting and want to help realizing their vision, please contact them making a donation.
And of course spread the word....
Christos Raches, 83301 Ikaria
tel. +30 2275 041076
Facebook page : gynaikeios synetairismos geyseis ikarias