How a Greek company searching for 'common good' became a rare success story
The Globe and Mail, 7/1/2014
As young adults, the husband and wife pharmacists Nikos and Niki Koutsianas never much liked flogging industrial, chemical-laden products to their customers. So Nikos, who is obsessed with honey bees, and Niki, a budding aromatherapist, tinkered in their laboratory and produced a black soap made from propolis, the resin collected by bees to seal their hives, and face creams with natural ingredients such as myrtle and jasmine.
The products were a hit with their pharmacy customers and gave the Greek couple an idea: Why not launch a company devoted to all-natural soaps, creams and cosmetics?
They did. In 1979, Apivita was born and the propolis soap, which is thought to have mild antiseptic qualities, was its first product. Today, the Apivita line is available in 14 countries – Canada is coming soon – and reported €33-million ($48-million) in sales last year…