Nick's Involvement in the Richmond Greek Festival

Nick's Involvement in the Richmond Greek Festival

Happy Friday, I hope everyone is as excited as I am for a jam-packed weekend at the 46th Richmond Greek Festival. Thank you for your support and kind words on last week's blog post, it was the most popular one I have written to date. This week's blog will be a little bit shorter, but still worth a read. This week, I am writing about Nick's involvement in the festival over the past fifty or so years. Nick Mourtzakis (later shortened to Mouris) was always proud to help the church, and owning a business allowed him to give back, as was his charitable nature, for many years during the early years of the festival. 

As discussed in last week's blog, the first ever festival was essentially a bake sale, and was only indoors at the St. Constantine and Helen's Cathedral. Nick set up a table to sell packaged goods inside of the formerly named Junes room (named after the Junes family, an integral family of the Church). As his son Philip Mourtzakis recalls, "We sold A LOT of oregano that year." For the next few years, Nick's continued to set up a mini store in a Sunday School classroom across from the kitchen. Inside of the classroom were an assortment of packaged goods (spices, seeds, chickpeas) as well as jarred olives and olive oil, amongst other common Greek grocery items. When the festival moved outdoors, Nick's then had an outdoor tent, while still selling the same goods which they offered inside in the years past. During this time period, Mr. Nick was adamant that all of the sales were to be donated to the church. This is a testament, not only to Nick, but to many others in the Greek community that give their time, money, and service during the Greek Festival. 

During the mid-1990s, Nick's moved inside to the newly created Agora Marketplace, where they continued to sell products which were offered on the shelves of the store on Broad Street. The festival proved to be a busy weekend in the Mouris household. While Nick would be at the store running day to day operations, his wife Marianthi would be managing the stand at the church. When the store closed in the evening, he would then make his way to the church to continue to work into the nighttime at the festival. 

Nick's has also become a major supplier to the Greek Festival over the years. Initially, Nick's supplied the earlier festivals with produce. As time went on and the business changed, Nick's now provides many of the essential Greek products for the festival. This year, Nick's is supplying ingredients for pastichio, dolmades, gyro meat, tzatziki sauce, pita bread, spices, feta cheese, pepperoncinis, and olives.

It is an honor to be able to continue the tradition of the festival each year, and at Nick's we are glad to maintain a wonderful working relationship with the church. I urge everyone to make a trip out to the Greek Festival this weekend if you are able. If you happened to have missed last weekend's blog, click here for a link to it, where dates and times are listed at the bottom. Enjoy your weekend, enjoy the sunny (but not too hot) weather, and (hopefully) enjoy some nice Greek food and a fantastic time at the Richmond Greek Festival!

See you next Friday,

- Nick's

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