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Olympus Burger x Groupex

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OLYMPUS BURGER

Co-Owner & Restaurateur: George Kallonakis 
Groupex member since: 2013
Port Hope, Ontario

Before it even opened its doors in June 2013, Olympus Burger joined Groupex. “After meeting with my representative and learning about the company, it was an easy choice to join”, shares Olympus Burger owner George Kallonakis. “Our goals, missions and values align perfectly, and the cost savings are a no-brainer.

Olympus Burger isn’t just your run-of-the-mill burger joint. It’s a certified detour-worthy food experience that’s made its way onto bucket lists and road trips of Canadians from coast to coast. 

While a Greek-themed burger place isn’t exactly intuitive, the Olympus Burger concept works. Why? Because these burgers are as much the subject of legend and lore and the theme implies. A visit to the homepage of their website asks visitors the curiosity-piquing question, “Have you met the gods of Olympus?”. Each Olympus burger is named for a Greek god or goddess, with choices ranging from the classic “Zeus” (topped with peameal bacon, caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, aged white cheddar cheese, Olympus bbq sauce, lettuce, tomato) to the “Aphrodite” (topped with grilled pineapple rings, warmed mix greens, guacamole, and sautéed mushrooms). Olympus Burger also offers a secret menu not posted anywhere in the restaurant, featuring an additional burger lineup and a selection of special house-made sauces.

 Kallonakis was raised in the restaurant industry from a young age. “It’s in my DNA”, he shares. “My parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles have all owned and operated restaurants. Despite pursuing a university degree in a completely different field, seeing the demand for a gourmet, freshly-made in-house burger restaurant in Port Hope made me take a leap of faith and pursue what I was destined for.”

But what ultimately lured Kallonakis develop the Olympus Burger concept was a passion for the versatility of the humble burger as a medium for a top-tier food experience. “Burgers! Any burger. They are all uniquely built, with different combinations, topping and flavours. An option for everyone—various vegetarian, vegan and keto options as well! My personal favourite is the Ares burger with our fresh beef patty, topped with peppercorn, crispy bacon, caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, Olympus Burger BBQ sauce, lettuce and tomatoes. Or the Morpheus from our secret menu, that has peanut butter!” 

Olympus Burger is one of the country’s most decorated burger stops, and has earned a huge fan base over the years. When asked to share his proudest moment, Kallonakis admits it’s hard to narrow them down to just one. “We have been featured on You Gotta Eat Here and the Food Network in 2016, have been voted Best Burger in Canada by Canadian Living magazine (2017), ranked in the Top 25 burgers in Canada list by Heinz (2019), became the first carbon zero-certified restaurant in Canada (2018) and have won all local yearly awards for best burgers in Northumberland since 2013. Being a part of Port Hope and the community, giving back wherever we can and working with many students over the years is definitely another proud accolade.”

Olympus Burger is one of the country’s most decorated burger stops, and has earned a huge fan base over the years. When asked to share his proudest moment, Kallonakis admits it’s hard to narrow them down to just one. “We have been featured on You Gotta Eat Here and the Food Network in 2016, have been voted Best Burger in Canada by Canadian Living magazine (2017), ranked in the Top 25 burgers in Canada list by Heinz (2019), became the first carbon zero-certified restaurant in Canada (2018) and have won all local yearly awards for best burgers in Northumberland since 2013. Being a part of Port Hope and the community, giving back wherever we can and working with many students over the years is definitely another proud accolade.”

Of course, no restaurant was untouched by the pandemic, and Olympus Burger is resuming “normal” operations, with an eye to trimming costs while maintaining their reputation for excellence. Kallonakis is looking ahead to continuing to make an impact in his local community and proudly changing perceptions of what a great burger tastes like. “Olympus Burger wouldn’t have achieved such success over the years without its community support. We cannot thank them enough. There are multiple fundraisers we host for local organizations throughout the year, such as our National Burger Day—all proceeds of the day are donated to different organizations every year. Every December we donate $0.25 from every burger sold to Green Wood Coalition, an organization that deals with hunger and homelessness in our community, as well as supporting various teams and clubs throughout the year. 

What lies ahead for Olympus Burger? They’ve just put a new food truck on the road and Kallonakis invites the curious to follow their evolution: “I cannot wait to share what we have up our sleeves…or should I say, togas.”

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