What connection does the University of Baltimore have to the idyllic green slopes and steep, fir-covered foothills of Mt. Taigetos in southern Greece? That’s where Dimitrios Komninos, B.S. ’11, has a family farm, which produces the olives for the extra virgin olive oil he imports and distributes through his business, Greek SuperFoods LLC. On weekends, Komninos can be found selling his family’s range of olives and olive oil products at local farmers markets, and during the week he runs and oversees all aspects of the business.
Komninos was first drawn to UB because of its proximity to his home and business. Once he took a tour of UB’s campus, he was, as he says, “sold!” And, he adds, “so happy that the Greek Church is right across the street!” To this day, whenever he drives by the school he gets what he describes as “a proud feeling inside me.”
The sense of pride Komninos feels for UB, carries over to his business and family heritage. His love for what he does shows in his commitment to his business and his passion for the quality of the products he sells.
“I am able to share with our customers and everyone in the U.S., 100 percent real extra virgin, unfiltered olive oil from our family’s farm ,” he says. “I feel happy and blessed to sell the best olive oil in the world for a good price and to be able to educate people on what extra virgin olive oil really is. It feels great to represent my country with such a pure product.”
Komninos’ experience at UB has served him well in the business world.
“I had the pleasure to interact with both professors and other students who worked in the business world. I adopted methods taught by my professors such as organizational skills and I upgraded my knowledge on international business laws,” he says. “I took classes that were taught by real-life business people who provided real-life examples and experiences they had been through. Also my communication skills got better. I made a lot of connections and learned a lot just by having conversations outside of class with these individuals. If I ever needed help, the people at UB are like a family. The staff, the students and teachers are always there to lend a hand and support you.”
His responsibilities as owner of Greek SuperFoods are extensive, and his role varies from day to day.
“On weekends I wake up at 5:30 a.m. and load up to go to the farmers markets to sell my olive oil and olives. During the week I visit chefs at various restaurants and pitch my olive oil to them and you can find me at places like the warehouse taking inventory,” Komninos says. “I do a lot of accounting and office work, deliveries, and I’m also in charge of social media and my online sales. I like to say ‘I do it all.’ it just depends on which day you catch me.”
Looking to the future, Komninos is thinking about graduate school and cites UB as his number one choice. He is also looking to expand the visibility of his company:
“My professional goal this year is to make more people familiar with our product and for more restaurants to start using it. I really appreciate all our customers who buy our olive oil and come back for more,” he says “Also, it is a great feeling knowing chefs and restaurant owners use it and appreciate the quality.”
Komninos adds that he is always looking to hire UB students who have “a passion for real food,” and who are interested in an internship position. In the past year he has hired two students. As he sees it, offering internships is a way for him to give back to UB, the place where his business dreams took root and began to grow.
Learn more about Dimitri Extra Virgin Olive Oil at www.dimitriolivefarms.com.