Eleni’s Restaurant has been serving a wide variety of menu options for 28 years, with the traditional Greek dishes becoming their most popular. During this time the primary owners have been the Apostolopoulos family, with husband and wife team Niko and Vicky at the helm. With deep seated roots in Greece, the family farmed olive oil is used in the restaurant, along with some of the traditional family recipes, ensuring authentic meals are always on offer.
Niko moved to Canada in 1968, working hard to get his chefs papers and build a reputation as a sous-chef in Vancouver. Vicky joined him in 1970, learning the business primarily from her husband, but with her own knowledge and recipes, she too made a name for herself in the kitchen. With their two children now also working part time in the restaurant (they both work in education) this really is a family business.
The couple moved to Mission wanting to live in a small town with a sense of community. They purchased the restaurant nine months after it initially opened, deciding to keep the name as they had three nieces all called Eleni. With a great deal of customer support and returning regulars they have made Mission their home and its residents and staff are part of their extended family.
Employing 31 part-time and full-time staff, they have a dedicated team – some who have been there from the very beginning. The Apostolopoulos’s philosophy being; “Your job is your boss, not us.” They are all treated as equals with staff input an important part of the restaurants development. Customer service is the key to their success and an integral piece of ensuring patrons keep coming back.
Deciding it was time to retire the couple sold the business back in 2012, but lasted just 11 months before deciding to come back and bring on a partner to share the load. Gigi joined as a partner in 2013 and was already part of the Eleni’s family working as a cook in the restaurant for many years.
Vicky states, “We missed our customers so much. I have now decided I will not retire as long as I am healthy. I love the people who come in and miss the daily conversations when I am not here”.
So, Mission residents can rest easy as seafood, pasta, stir fry, salads and of course the Greek specialties including Moussaka, Spanakopita and Souvlaki are all on the menu for the foreseeable future!
Dine at the restaurant or have them cater your next event – Eleni’s Restaurant, 33262 1st Avenue, Mission. Tel: 604-826-4430
Recognizing one long serving business each month as we celebrate our 125th Anniversary.