Memories of the workplace ‘Kozmas’ restaurant waiters and Christos Dikeakos (in the center, sitting) New Years Eve 1975. Source: Immigrec
352 restaurants in 14 countries
A man describes how from a dishwasher he became the owner of a large chain of pizzerias -652 restaurants.
G.Κ.: To speak the truth, back in Greece in 1970 it wasn’t that good, I was a lathe operator and
it was difficult to find jobs to pay you, let’s say, and I decided to come here,
but when I arrived here, thinking that when I’d arrive, I’d get the same job,
but I couldn’t because I didn’t know English and I started as a dishwasher, I began as a dishwasher.
ER.: You didn’t know any English when you arrived?
G.Κ.: 10-15 words. I didn’t know any. Yeah. Tough. Yeah.
ER.: And then where, how did you develop professionally?
G.Κ.: I started a job as a dishwasher,
then from a dishwasher I became dishwasher and assistant cook. Both at the same time.
ER.: Tell me in which restaurant was that.
G.Κ.: Yes, I began from ‘Epos hotel’ here in ‘Epos hotel’.
ER.: So you also knew Mr. Nick then?
G.Κ.: No, some Greeks were employed there and they took me in there as a dishwasher
ER.: Was Mr. Nick Spiliotopoulos there then or not?
G.Κ.: Nick Spiliotopoulos was there as well. Yeah. Nick was working another job… yeah. And I started work there as a dishwasher,
after working as a dishwasher my brother-in-law was a waiter there, he took me as an assistant, a busboy as we say,
he took me as an assistant waiter, after assistant waiter I became a waiter as well and then I opened my own…
my own restaurants. I opened the first restaurant and then I opened another and another.
ER.: Eh, what kind of restaurants were these?
Γ G.Κ.: In the beginning it started…
ER.: Greek restaurants?
G.Κ.: Then I opened 2 Greek ones. In the beginning, I started with a coffee shop,
to learn the job as well. Afterwards I opened another restaurant, a bit larger. Then another one, a bit larger than the previous one.
ER.: Tell me the names, because these are also part of the story.
G.Κ.: Ah… Ah, wait a minute… I can’t remember now… The… the first store I opened was a coffee shop called
‘[...] corners coffee shop’ that was the name. Then I opened another restaurant which was called ‘Eye lander’, not opened, I bought it from someone,
afterwards I opened another one but I don’t remember its name, I don’t remember it,
I’ve opened some 350, I can’t even remember them now.
ER.: Are you serious now?
ER.: Were you opening them and closing them? Were you selling them and opening others?
G.Κ.: I have 352 restaurants, pizzerias right now.
ER.: Now this very moment?
G.Κ.: Now yes.
ER.: This is unbelievable.
G.Κ.: So, any way.
ER.: This is unbelievable.
G.Κ.: Are all of them the same name, that ‘Sarpino’s’?
ER.: And only here in Vancouver?
G.Κ.: 14 countries, 14 nations.