When they couldn't find traditional Greek yogurt in America, Steven Ioannou and John Belesis decided to make their own using their family's recipe. The two founded Nounós Creamery. How did they come up with the name? "Nounós" is Greek for "godfather," and Belesis is Ioannou's godfather.
Since 2014, they’ve been manufacturing Greek-style yogurt out of a 5,000-square-foot factory in West Babylon, Long Island. Their staff is made of 10 hard-working people. Ioannou says they operate 7 days a week in 4 to 5 double shifts.
Each week they manufacture close to 3,000 cases of Greek yogurt. The company grew 30 percent month to month last year. Now they're in the process of expanding the facility, on track to see around $1 million in sales. Different from other brands, Nounós is handmade in small batches and packaged in glass jars.
Nounós uses cheesecloth. It's an old-fashioned technique to straining the extra water and get the yogurt to that same consistency. Ioannou says it is a three-day process: one full day to make yogurt; another day to turn it into Greek-style yogurt; and a third day to package it and let it reset.
Some of the flavors are coconut cream, blueberry blend, forest berries, and vanilla bean (a fan favorite).
Nounós yogurt is on shelves in stores including Whole Foods and North Shore Farms. Jars start at $2.49. Nounós is hoping to sell to stores across the country and ultimately prove that manufacturing is and will continue to stay on Long Island.