Tradition in cheese making
The first step was taken in 1970 when Nikolaos Karakanas established a cheese factory in the area of Stefanovikeio, Magnesia, producing traditional cheese products. In 2005, the company is strengthened with the contribution of Panagiotis Karakanas, who, with his master studies in the science and technology of milk and dairy products at the University of Reading in Great Britain, adapts to the business the new trends and practices. The variety of products grows and the company is certified for the products (AGROCERT) and the tracing and production processes that follow (ISO 22000).
“Since the beginning of the last century, my family has been purely livestock, with the field of activity in the mountains of Western Macedonia (Vlasti, Kozani). Cheese-making was then done on the road, as a means of preserving milk and as a source of income. “But in 1970, we went from my grandparents’ amateur cheese-making to organized processing, with the opening of the cheese factory”, says Mr. Karakanas.
The milk used for the production of dairy products is collected from free-range sheep and goats of mountain Pelion, near Lake Carla, at a distance of 20 km from the dairy.
“Our cheeses are produced from goat’s and sheep’s milk, which is collected by producers with herds of semi-free grazing at the foot of Northwest Pelion and around Lake Carla. The quality of the milk and the cultivation of trust with the breeder is a key factor in choosing the raw material. It is no coincidence that the main body of the collaborating producers is the 2nd or 3rd generation of the families that supply us with milk since the establishment of the cheese factory “.
We like to experiment, to develop collaborations with young and renowned chefs and innovative young farmers, in order to produce unique, unique products, committed to their quality and respect for traditional techniques. The friendly consumers of our products are supplied by the most up-to-date delicatessen stores in Greece but also in many foreign countries such as the USA, the Netherlands, Ukraine and others. The cheese with black garlic (Black Garlic) which is produced by adding dried garlic, but also the “KaraCanna” which is produced by adding organic cultivation of flower and seed, industrial hemp (Sativa L.), are two of the new products we have created in cooperation with local and innovative chefs and farmers and are products that give added value and outlet to local agricultural production.
The “Karakanas” cheese factory with a tradition since 1958, expands its activities, welcoming to its team a second production unit called “I Nea Dimitrias”, where fermented products and sweets are produced, preserving the tradition and childhood memories.
By simultaneously upgrading and modernizing the quality characteristics of the products, we produce fermented dairy products, yogurts, kefir, etc., but also sweets, such as creams and rice milk and must flour.
The production unit of Stefanovikeio, Magnesia, maintains the production of cheese products and their distribution through the three stores we have.
“With this move, our company enters the market of organic products, as the certified bio line of products” Nea Dimitrias “is already on the shelves of many stores with organic products.
Establishment of Nea Dimitrias
In 1958, the laboratory under the name “Nea Dimitrias” was founded in Nea Dimitriada, Volos, due to its location, in the production of yogurts and dairy products, while it quickly became well known for the special quality of its products.
In 2021 the craft – brand, having enriched its list with the production of sweets and dairy, conventional and organic such as rice milk, creams and kefir, becomes the property of Karakanas Dairy, inaugurating a new era in its history.