It all started in 1945 on the Island of Lesvos where Evripidis Thimelis, a member of a generation of traditional cheesemakers, creates his first small personal cheese industry, in a small creamery, following the traditional recipes of the North Aegean Islands. He started collecting milk from the local farmers to make traditional Greek local dairy product in order to support the economy of the island as it was in a very bad situation after world war II. He was selling his dairy products as an exchange of other food products or milk. The following years he started distributing and selling his products throughout Greece and started investing to build a cheese factory. As time went by, his son Ignatis, respecting the traditions and his family principles, developed and promoted the “Thimelis Company”.
Nowadays having the capacity to process over 30 tons of milk daily, Thimelis S.A. is selling its products on the Greek and European market, trying to satisfy consumers’ changing demands and delivering the exact product and taste experience they are looking for. Located in Lesvos, an island known for its geomorphologic distinctiveness and its rich herbal flora, the company is supplied with excellent raw material, ie sheep and goat milk which give high nutrition value on dairy products making them an excellent source of proteins and calcium.
By the end of 2021, the company will move to a new ultra-modern factory in Antisa-Lesvos with production facilities over 5.000 m2 and will be considered one of the best equipped and modern dairy facility in Greece. The customers will have the opportunity to visit this facility together with a guided tour and see in firsthand the art of traditional Greek dairy production mixed with high quality principles and guidelines.
The fresh 100% Greek sheep’s and goats’ milk, from animals which are fed on both mountain and seaside meadows, combined with the experience of years in the art and science of cheese making are the elements that characterize the products of Thimelis Dairy. Thus, while supporting local farmers the company produce high quality products –FETA P.D.O. KASERI P.D.O. GRAVIERA, LADOTYRI P.D.O. FRESH BUTTER, maintaining the unique authentic Greek cheese taste.
The company’s continuous innovations, passion, and traditional recipes has earned the approval of consumers and has created a relationship of love and trust with them, which dates back in 1945 and continues to grow stronger. All the people in Thimelis S.A. commit themselves to deliver high quality dairy products and most importantly that the produce meet the “Authentic Greek” criterion providing to the consumers from abroad a full flavor of Greek holidays in their plates. The company has a strong presence in the biggest supermarket chains in Greece, as well as in the HO.RE.CA industry, offering branded and private label products.
Certifications & Awards
- ISO 9001
- ISO 22000
Regarding prizes and awards, Thimelis S.A. was one of the first companies in Greece received the Hellenic Trademark from the Ministry of Economy, Infrastructure, Maritime & Tourism, which is awarded to the businesses that produce products in Greece, only from Greek raw materials. The Hellenic Trademark is on every package of Thimelis dairy product, a trademark that is in line with the philosophy of the company to promote and support the local farmers and the local entrepreneurship. This trademark also protects consumers from being misled. The company is also an active member of “ELLA-DIKA MAS” a community of manufacturing and processing Greek-owned enterprises which endeavors to develop and promote Greece’s modern-day entrepreneurial and productive culture.
- In 2009 KASSERI THIMELIS has been awarded with the silver medal in the second Greek Cheese Competition.
- In 2011 LADOTYRI THIMELIS has been awarded with the bronze medal in the third Greek Cheese Competition.
- In 2019 Thimelis Dairy participated in a truly global cheese event, the World Cheese awards. 3,804 cheeses from 42 different nations were judged. While the rind and the body of the cheese, its color, texture and consistency were all considered, the ultimate judging criterion was taste. GRAVIERA THIMELIS has been awarded with the bronze medal in World Cheese Awards!
- In 2020 Thimelis KASSERI P.D.O. was included in the TOP GREEK CHEESE FOR 2020 a list created by the editors of AGRENDA, a journal of agricultural and economics.
The mission of the company is to link its historic name with premium dairy products with high safe quality and excellent taste that fully satisfy the needs and desires of its international and domestic consumer. The customer is at the center of the company’s philosophy and this philosophy demands perfection and therefore quality assurance. The quality is a vital point for the company and all the production process is monitored by a strict quality system with the help of the indented 3rd party inspection partners.
Following this philosophy, TÜV AUSTRIA awarded Thimelis S.A. with the accredited certification concerning the application of Quality Management System for the production, packaging storage under refrigeration and trading hard cheeses, semi hard cheese, soft cheeses into brine, whey cheeses and butter. (Certificate Registration No: 20001200003436) Also, TÜV AUSTRIA awarded Thimelis Dairy with the accredited certification concerning the application of Food Safety Management System for the production, packaging storage under refrigeration and trading hard cheeses, semi hard cheese, soft cheeses into brine, whey cheeses and butter. (Certificate Registration No: 20101180000429). Also the Total Quality Assurance System of Thimelis is certified according to the strictest international standards: ISO 22000 and ISO 9001:2015 and from AGROCERT for the P.D.O. products.
Thimelis S.A. produces 3 protected designation of origin products namely; -FETA P.D.O KASSERI P.D.O. and LADOTYRI P.D.O. The cheeses which are referred to as Protected Designation of Origin (P.D.O.) derive from a certain area and their quality is related to the specific environment of origin. They are produced, processed and prepared in a given geographical area, from a given kind of milk, using recognized know-how.
At Thimelis S.A. they know that economic growth depends on the sustainability and protection of the environment and they try to actively contribute to the protection of the environment. The company has launched new smaller cheese packages in order to reduce plastic consumption. During the following months these new packages will have recycling symbols in order to inform consumers that the package is recyclable. Also the company invests in an electronic communication system, aiming at the limitation of the paper file to the minimum possible degree. The unwanted paper is collected and recycled.
The company via exports wants to come closer to consumers from different cultures, with different flavors and taste requirements, listen to their voices and improving, in this way, the production techniques and receive impulses to create new products. In the future the company will actively seek for new lucrative markets in Europe and at the same time will develop the existing ones by both investing in new products and distribution channels.