In the second of our Support Local Series, I speak with serial entrepreneur
Kyriakos Baxevanis, of Greek restaurant Nostos in Hove. Greek cuisine is my favourite so I'm personally super happy that I can now have their amazing dishes delivered to my front door during lockdown :)
Please tell us about your business and what you offer?
Nostos, in a nutshell is a modern Greek restaurant that offers traditional dishes in a modern and aesthetically pleasing form and design. Very heavily influenced from a vegan and vegetarian perspective, we are looking to re connect with the original Mediterranean cuisine of the 40s and 50s but with a modern twist.
How long have you been based in Brighton?
We own a few businesses in Brighton ( not food) but Nostos is our latest business venture and we've opened our doors to the public in Aug 2019. Personally I've been in Brighton since 2004.
What challenges has your business faced since we went into lockdown?
We literally had to reinvent ourselves over night so to match the current trading environment and its needs. The Governments' announcements have certainly helped ease our main concern which was our staff but we felt that closing down was not an option so we have continued trading but adjusted our offering to delivering food and groceries. We have developed an online shop with all our products and we deliver on a daily basis.
Would you say that the Support Local Facebook group and Brighton Quarantine website have been a help to your business?
I am seeing people coming together to face this threat and this is one of the most encouraging developments during this crisis. I ll be honest I did start losing faith in our community during the last 3 years, as the divide that has ripped this country apart would have taken a generation to heal but here we are, all together fighting this existential threat as one people!
The FB groups mentioned above have helped tremendously to organize resources and information, as they correctly identified the increased reliance of our community in online mediums. Moreover they are helping people feel that we are all in this together and we will eventually find the solutions required to prevail.
What advice would you give to anyone who is struggling right now?
Personally my bedrock is my family and friends so make sure you share your concerns and anxieties every time you have the opportunity but also be there for them, by focusing on other peoples concerns you are taking time off from yours! We can not deal with this alone. Exercise is key, your body feels good your brain follows. Also try to be creative and productive with your time from reading a book to learning a new food recipe. I am lucky enough to have a garden so all my free time is with the family doing garden work.
What happy song makes you dance in your kitchen?!
Two of my favourite ones are from A-ha 'Take on me' and INXS 'need you tonight'
Anything further you'd like to tell us?
This current situation is certainly a great crisis and a tragedy but if we are to survive and continue thriving we have to learn from this and adapt both at the individual level but also collectively as a human race. Humans have changed and involved through great adversities in the past so i am very optimistic that we will, after a period of uncertainty, rise again to meet this new challenge!
Get in touch
If you would like to be interviewed for our Support Local Series, email firstname.lastname@example.org