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Evris Kontos

A Greek Cypriot Immigrant and the American Dream

Evris Kontos, in Greek Evripides Kontos, began his career working at a bakery in Cyprus after school, making hand-stretched fillo dough and fillo products. Noticing that the bakery could not meet the demand for fillo products during the holiday seasons because of the inability to produce enough fillo dough, Evris began to develop a plan for more efficient production. At the age of 16, he left school and his job, and with a loan from his uncle, started his own business producing fillo dough for bakeries. Soon he was shipping to bakeries all over the island of Cyprus. Another uncle from the United States visited Cyprus and recognized Evris' ambition and ingenuity and convinced him that his future was in the United States. Evris sold his business in Nicosia and emigrated, arriving in New York in 1949 where he began working at the Constantinoupolis Bakery on Eighth Avenue in Manhattan, an area known as "Greek Town". By 1968, Evris had started his own fillo dough production company called Apollo in Dumont, New Jersey, using the hand-stretching technique he learned as a young man in Cyprus. In 1971, with the assistance of a future partner, they succeeded in designing the first machine that would mass-produce fillo dough. The mechanized production improved availability and price, which accelerated the introduction of fillo dough to professional and amateur chefs, as well as home bakers, and Apollo Fillo quickly became available in supermarkets all over the country. To meet the ever-increasing demand for product, the company moved in 1980 to a building of 65,000 square feet in Fairlawn, New Jersey, where five fillo-making machines were in constant operation. This book is focused on his life, and achievements as he is one of the Great Generation of Immigrants from the Mediterranean and Europe who helped build post-war America from the 1950s into the 21st century.

Category: Biographies
Code: 11269
ISBN: 9781467574594
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 240
Publication Date: 2013
Publisher: Kontos
Published In: USA
Language: English