(Toronto, Canada) – Eleni Antonopoulos, wife of Dimitrios Antenopoulos, has passed away. Together, the couple built a successful restaurant chain called, “Jimmy the Greek,” a Greek restaurant specializing in “quick serve” foods. They are a staple throughout Canada and there are even locations elsewhere in the world, such as Dubai. Jimmy the Greek is commonly found in shopping mall and business food courts. Dimitrios passed away back in 1996 and was survived by his wife, who just passed away this April. Eleni arrived in Canada in the 1960’s and she and Dimitrios (Jimmy) got married shortly after.
The pair started off with their first restaurant in 1977, the Epikourion Restaurant, which was located in the First Canadian Place. They opened the Penelope Restaurant in 1982, and sometime after that, they started their “Jimmy the Greek” restaurants. Currently, there are over fifty locations of Jimmy the Greek located mostly in Canada but there are some other worldwide locations.
Toula Antonopoulos, Jimmy and Eleni’s daughter, said, “My father and mother came from extremely humble beginnings.” They had an arranged marriage, but they loved each other. When Eleni saw a photo of Jimmy, the pair began their marriage arrangements. The pair originally came from Nafplio, Greece and they moved to Canada in 1963 after they were married. It would take them 17 years to open their first restaurant, but through hard work and determination, they made their dreams of entrepreneurship come true.
According to the Jimmy the Greek website, Jimmy initially noticed that there was a hole in the restaurant market. No one was offering “fast” Greek and Mediterranean food. He decided to fill that void and eventually grew Jimmy the Greek into a successful franchise. Jimmy is quoted as saying (and the quote is published on the website), “The success of our operations is a simple recipe: possess a burning desire to offer delicious high quality fresh food, provide fast friendly service, and do it with a touch of Greek hospitality.”