Fasten Your Seatbelts: The Ellenos Story

Walkaround cup of Ellenos Greek yogurt at Pike Place Market scoop shop, in front of the iconic Pike Place Market sign
A fresh-scooped cup of Ellenos at Pike Place Market

A Flight Attendant Walks Into a Yogurt Bar…

Our story starts in Australia, where father and son team, Con and Alex, were making their family’s handcrafted Greek yogurt. When fellow yogurt-enthusiast and flight attendant, Yvonne Klein, discovered their yogurt during layovers, she quickly became obsessed. Yes, obsessed. With yogurt. In fact, she loved the Apostolopoulos’ yogurt so much, she stockpiled it every time her flights landed in Australia. She brought the yogurt back in coolers, sharing it with her husband (Bob), her friends, and pretty much anyone else who would listen or give it a try.

Four Co-founders: Con Apostolopoulos (left); Alex Apostolopoulos (back center); Bob Klein (right); Yvonne Klein (front center)
Co-founders: Con Apostolopoulos (left); Alex Apostolopoulos (back center); Bob Klein (right); Yvonne Klein (front center)

By this point, Yvonne was determined to find a way to bring this yogurt to America. She believed that everyone deserved the chance to try this delicious yogurt, and that there was nothing like it here in the States…so she and Bob hatched a plan.

A few years prior, the Kleins had purchased Corner Produce – the iconic produce stand that was located at the corner of Pike Place and Pike Street at Pike Place Market. They knew this was the perfect place to start a new food company built on fresh, local ingredients, a handcrafted product, and bold, fruit-forward flavors. It took a few trips back and forth to Australia, and a few years of convincing, but eventually, Con and Alex decided to pack their bags, leave behind their successful dairy business in Australia, and give this new challenge a try in the US.

Produce stand found at Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington
A produce stand in Pike Place Market provides the perfect setting for Ellenos

“You know, I’m a challenge-driven person,” says Con, “and when the challenge is gone from something, I look for a challenge somewhere else. So, I went, yeah, let’s go do this thing.”

And “do this thing” they did – after years of Bob and Yvonne’s persuading and planning, Con and Alex packed their bags and relocated to Seattle in September 2012.

Opening Day

Fast forward several months filled with planning, logistics, and trial and error (not to mention building a yogurt factory from scratch!), but before they knew it, opening day was right around the corner. Con, Alex, Bob, and Yvonne worked through the day and night of July 4, 2013 to put finishing touches on the shop, and then opened the doors for the first time on July 5, 2013.

Co-founder Bob Klein unloading the original Ellenos scoop case for the Ellenos Pike Place Market scoop shop
Co-founder, Bob Klein, helps unload the original Ellenos scoop case

As Con tells it, “I remember standing at the front, watching all the people at Pike Place and I thought to myself: one day, just like how people come to Pike Place for the flying fish or the original Starbucks, they’re going to line up to come see Ellenos.”

And line up they did! Ellenos has served thousands of people a year through our original Pike Place Market location, and we’ve grown from one scoop shop to bringing Ellenos to grocery stores across the country…and we can’t wait to see what’s next!

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