Despina Dimitroulopoulou: How I got bitten by the fish

Despina Dimitroulopoulou: How I got bitten by the fish
Despina Dimitroulopoulou: How I got bitten by the fish

Little, she didn’t want to see or smell the fish. Come, however, fate had its own plans… Today, she is at the helm, together with her husband – a fisherman from grandfather to grandfather – of the “O Nektarios” Fish Market. Despina Dimitroulopoulou knows hard work and is grateful for what she has achieved: A successful business that is constantly evolving and a close-knit family with a shared vision.

What is your relationship, little one, with fish?

Oh, I had nothing to do with them. I didn’t even know how to tell them apart, and when my mother made fish, I would sneak it out of the house (laughs). And yet, I learned them, loved them, through my husband, and we managed to create our business.

So tell us, when did it all start?

Fishing has been passed down from generation to generation in my husband’s family. We had the art… So, 26 years ago, as androgynous, we acquired our first shop. It was very small, we took it easy and we ended up selling, at that time, a lot of fish.

And then?

We went to Zakynthos, where we stayed for 15 years. The local papers had raved about our shop – a gem they called it. In fact, the intervention of the police was needed to quell the people who were waiting to buy our fish. However, we had to close it, because the hours were long. We also have the wholesale office in Ichthyoskala, and we didn’t have any “hands”. We regretted it later…

You are returning to Patras, with the children now older, who also joined the business – sixth generation, now, right?

Sure! My three sons, 22, 21 and 17 today, have loved this job since they were babies. To tell you the truth, because we took great pains, I didn’t want the children to be involved. I even gave them all the supplies so they could do something else. However, they had it in their DNA and it was their desire to work in the family business and develop it even more.


The focus has entered our stores. The customer can receive the product cooked by our chef. Which, you know, follows the recipes that we have collected from grandfather to grandfather – burger, shrimp pasta, etc. – that they used to make, then on the boat to eat. Our chef marries the traditional with the modern, based on his knowledge, as a result of which we offer something special to the world of Patras. We put our time, love and passion for the best.

What is your philosophy?

Our primary concern is the quality of the fish and the products with which we prepare the meals – everything I buy for home, we also use in the store – combined with good prices. Personal contact with the customer is also very important. Imagine, with most of them we become friends after a while… We care about investing in this relationship and we want the customer to return, not the product, as my husband jokingly says. Is there a better ad?

What do you love about your job?

My contact with the world. When he sees me, he calls me “my little girl”… This is not paid for!

How did you really manage to raise three children while working so hard?

I was imperfect in many things. To be honest, I prioritized work, there was no other way. It took a lot of struggle to get where we are. But I didn’t give up. I remember, I was pregnant and I was putting the crate on my belly, or I was driving a truck in Zakynthos (laughs).

Taking a little inventory so far, you would say that

I achieved much more than I expected. I have a very nice family, and I have made a name in Greece – clean, genuine.

What else do you want from here on out?

What I want above all is for our children to be strong. Also, I want the two new stores we have in the program to be completed and to constantly develop our work. Of course, I’m grateful for what we’ve achieved so far, it’s really too much, and I say Praise God – even here to stay… Don’t just tell me to sit down. I love the daily contact with people.

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The article is in Greek

Tags: Despina Dimitroulopoulou bitten fish

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