Ooh La La
The tasty dips of Zorbas Natural Food
Cari SCribner lif, Times UnionCopyright 2013 Times Union. All
rights reserved. This  material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or

By Cari SCribner life@home
Published 8:09 am, Friday, July 2, 2010           

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In France, they say ooh
  la la
, but locally, it's "Gar-La-La." The catchy phrase is the product name
  for a line of dips and spreads based on traditional Greek recipes, designed to 
give people a healthy option in modern times of fast food abundance.

Colleen and Foti Zorbas of Clifton Park are partners in the grassroots but forward-thinking company Zorbas Natural Food. The couple lives with their three young children in
  a spacious, tastefully decorated home nestled on a forested lot in Clifton
Park.  Signs of their creativity are everywhere, from the intricate molding with
  columns and arches around the fireplace, hand-plastered by Foti, to the 
photographs and line drawings of unusual subjects, including Albert
. A row of thriving houseplants basks in the sun near a set of 
French doors. Come summertime, their backyard will become a garden for fresh 
herbs and the mainstay of Gar-La-La, fresh garlic.

 The story of how the couple launched a small but increasingly successful 
product line of garlic dips begins with Foti's childhood. Growing up in Colonie,
  Foti's parents, John and Demetra
, prepared foods that were fresh and full-flavored, including the 
traditional Greek Skordalia, a Greek potato and garlic dip. "We always had it in
  the fridge growing up," Foti Zorbas says. "A couple of years ago, I decided to 
make my own, and I took my mom's recipe and tweaked it. To this day she tells me
  it's not hot enough, because her recipe would literally burn  our mouths."

Is the family recipe a secret? Not when the simple, fresh ingredients are 
listed on the bright green label on every tub of Gar-La-La. The ingredients are 
purified water, potato, canola oil, raw garlic, dill, lemon, sea salt and 
pepper. Foti says recipes using these ingredients have been enjoyed by families 
of all ethnicities for decades; many versions of the recipes can be found on 
the Internet. 

But if the average person took these ingredients and tried to recreate Foti's
  Gar-La-La, they'd come up short. "It's the process I use to make the dip that's
  a secret," Foti says. "People are always asking how I make it; we even have 
people that have spent months trying to make it come out like mine does, but 
they can't come close."

 Since any food product sold to the public must be made in a U.S. Health 
Department certified facility, Foti prepares and packages the dips at area 
commercial kitchens, including My Other Kitchen in Ballston Spa. The dips don't 
contain dairy ingredients, but the 8-ounce package is preservative-free and must
  be refrigerated, even before opening. This packaging issue currently limits 
mass production.

"We have an extra fridge at our house, and we still store it at my father's 
house," Foti says. "Eventually we'll think about growing the business, building 
a kitchen in our basement, but right now, we like being small and managing every
  aspect of it ourselves."

Launching a new business, even with a product they believed in, doesn't come 
without lots of sleepless nights. "Starting out was like jumping off a diving 
board," Colleen Zorbas says. "Our first week selling outdoors, I pictured 100 people in
line  to try it, but at my first market, I stood there thinking, 'what am I
doing?'  Then we hear from someone who loves it, and that's enough encouragement
to  keep going."

The couple practices the wholesome eating habits they promote through their 
dairy, gluten and soy-free garlic dips. They adhere to a strictly vegan diet, 
use fresh produce grown in their garden or at local farms, and swear by the 
health benefits of eating plant-based foods.

Gar-La-La varieties include original, horseradish dill, roasted red pepper, 
and a new flavor, sun-dried tomato basil, out this summer. Their company slogan 
is "spread it, dip it, love it!" "It's mainly a condiment to be used as a dip 
for crackers or raw veggies," Colleen says. "But we hear back from people who 
add it to meatballs, soups, or as a sauce for cooked asparagus."

 Onto the obvious question asked by most would-be customers of the zesty 
garlic dip: What do you do about garlic breath? "Have your friends eat it with 
you so you all smell the same, or chew parsley afterwards," Colleen says. 
"Actually, after you eat garlic for a while your body adjusts and you won't have
  any aftertaste on your breath."

This summer, you can buy Zorbas Natural Food products at farmers' markets 
around the Capital Region, including Saratoga Springs at High Rock Park, 
Ballston Spa at Wiswall Park, and Delmar on Kenwood Avenue. A handful of health 
food stores also carry it, including Four
in Saratoga Springs, Honest
  Weight Food Co-op
in Albany, It's Only Natural at Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany,
  and also the Price Chopper at Shoppers
  World Plaza
, Clifton Park.
If you stop by one of the markets, you'll meet Colleen or Foti Zorbas, 
because they believe in personally greeting every customer. "We want to talk to 
people about why it's so healthy, and we want to see their reaction when they 
take their first bite," Colleen says. "We stand behind our promise that once you
  try it, you'll love it."

Read more: http://www.timesunion.com/news/article/Ooh-La-La-562774.php#ixzz2JETjwimT
6/22/2017 02:47:46 pm

I saw your lovely products in a Stongs Shop in North Vancouver,  

I am in the process of setting up a HPP treatment facility in BC. HPP is THE new way to 'treat ' fresh' products and fresh juices to extend the shelf life up to 10 times (no notification to Health Canada needed)!!! . This You tube video explain it nicely: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnnUrNB76YY 

It involves no chemicals/preservatives, or heat. Only very high pressures. HPP is an environmentally friendly process and is a real alternative to thermal and chemical treatments.

Let me know if you are interested in discussing this existing opportunity with me to extend the shelf life of your  products and open up the potential to you to keep your products fresher for longer.

I am in the process to gather market information on where is the best place to set up the treatment facility and what possible production capacity I need.

I will appreciate it if you can let me know, if I have such a facility, would you be interested in treating your juices/products, what potential kg/liter would you process per week, what location will be best for you.

Let me know if you want to be kept updated on my progress to set up such a facility in BC.  I am looking forward working with you.

Best regards

Patricia Truter
(604) 817 1097


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