Athena Foods builds upon Cincinnati's Greek community with new grocery

For over 34 years Athena Foods (map) grocery store has prospered on the West side, infused by the heritage and tastes of its Greek and Middle Eastern owners. Now Buzzy and Georgianne Gaz have reopened the specialty grocery store with the goal of continuing to grow the the types of Greek products offered to satisfy their steady customers and generate new fans of hard to find ethnic foods.

"We have built on what they started, and have added more based on the input from others in the Greek and Mediterranean food industry," said Athena Foods co-owner, Buzzy Gaz.

The Gaz's bought the store earlier this year and held a reopening on August 1st.  The 1,700 square-foot store now has new shelves, lighting, spruced up floors, and added inventory.

Buzzy Gaz considers himself to be "100 percent Greek" and is a third generation immigrant.  He is proud of Athena Foods' unique Greek offerings that are difficult to find anywhere else in the region.

"Our selection of olive oils, dried fruits and nuts, fresh baked breads, authentic Greek pastries, and our cheeses and olives beat out all of our competitors in terms of prices and variety," said Gaz.  The store also has more than 40 different spices to choose from and will special order products requested by customers.

Gaz also boasts about Athena Foods' drink selection as well, with 24 different types of Greek wines and four different types of Greek beer.  "We have by far the greatest selection of Greek wines in the region."

And for the foodies out there, Athena Foods also delivers the best food products from the region often referred to as the "Fertile Crescent," where many of the healthy Mediterranean foods Athena carries originate from.

Athena Foods is located in Finneytown near the Holy Trinity-St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and close by the location for the annual Panegyri Greek Festival.  The store is open Monday through Friday from 10:30am to 6pm, Saturday from 10am to 4pm, and Sunday from 11:30am to 2:30pm.  Customers are encouraged to call ahead, due to varying store hours, at (513) 729-0440.  Special food requests can be made by emailing Buzzy or Georgianne at [email protected].

Writer: Randy A. Simes
Photography by Amber Kersely
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