Daisy Rodriguez and Ted Gavalas’s bright new Mission market is a flurry of activity on its first Wednesday in business.
Rodriguez darts back to the kitchen to check on a batch of fresh chocolate croissants in the oven. Gavalas chats with a customer about the prosciutto and serrano ham in the display cooler. A customer eyes the imported olive oils stacked on the shelves.
A few months after signing a lease for the storefront at 6116 Johnson Drive, the couple’s vision of bringing the culinary culture of the Mediterranean and Europe that they love to their new home is a reality. Their Oregano & Thyme Mediterranean Market and Deli opened to the public last Friday.
Gavalas and Rodriguez moved here two years ago when he took an international sales job based in Kansas City. When the company went through a reorganization, his position was eliminated, and he and Rodriguez started putting into action an idea they’d toyed with for a while: Opening a market and deli featuring the food they loved from their time living in Greece and Europe.
Gavalas, a native of Greece, and Rodriguez, a native of Puerto Rico, met as college students at Syracuse University. Gavalas’s career in sales took the family to a slew of destinations throughout the Mediterranean, with significant time spent in Greece, Italy, Spain and France. At each stop, Rodriguez soaked in the community’s culinary traditions.
The food at their new shop — speciality dry goods like pastas, rice and paella broth base, as well as freshly made savory pies, quiche, sandwiches and soups — highlight their favorite Mediterranean flavors.
“We’ve eaten our way through Europe,” Gavalas said. “So the things we stock and make here are based on experience.”
Oregano & Thyme features a freshly made lunch item and soup each day along with sandwiches. They also bake fresh cookies and bread.
“We have fresh baguette every day,” Rodriguez said. “So we see people who come in and will pick up a fresh loaf of bread and make some salumi and make it a dinner. And we love to share ideas. We have recipe cards for a lot of the ingredients we sell.”
The store is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.