History of "Cretan Corner"
The house of Manolis and Helen Paparaftaki in Maleme was two-storey. Below there was a cafe-grocery store and above it was a kitchen bedroom and a lounge-diner. Their life was calm and peaceful. Manolis, a resourceful man as he was, worked all day long either as carpenter, or a shoemaker, or worked as a driver of the bus “Venizelos”. In the evening he opened the cafe on the ground floor of his house and entertained his customers by putting on the gramophone plates with songs of the time. As such days passed by pleasantly, until on April 10, 1941, the fruit of their love, Theodoros Parafaftakis, came to the world.
Dawn December 20, 1941
The German attack occurred on the morning of May 20, 1941, with the dropping of paratroopers on two fronts: at the airport of Maleme and the wider area of Chania. The first waves of paratroopers were easy prey for the New Zealanders, Australians, the English, and the Greeks defending Maleme. In the battles, a large number of civilians were involved, with whatever weapon they had at their disposal, from knives to guns from the era of the Cretan Revolution.
One of the Cretan civilians who took part in the battle without a second thought, was Manolis Parafaftakis, and despite his wife’s backtracking to stay at home or in a hideout he chose and decided to fight. He died on that day on May 20, 1941
A little past … and … a little present!
Over the years, Thodoris grew up, studied, married and got two children, Eleni and Manolis. Manolis wanted to deal with the commerce and the idea to rebuild that small shop at the end of the street he has taken roots for good in his mind. Thus he wanted to follow up on what his grandfather had started but did not manage to complete.
Manolis’ love for Crete and for his village is great. He therefore thought that for the visitors of his village as well as its inhabitants, the old grandfather’s café-grocery store should be reborn as a unique place that would showcase Cretan tradition and culture.
Having grown with pure Cretan products he knows that Cretans feed themselves with the products that their land produces, that is, they eat plenty of vegetables, greens and vegetables, cheeses such as gruyere, mizithra, anthotyro, pulses and fruits, snails.
They flavor their food with herbs and plants from the island’s mountains, such as thyme and oregano, and almost always accompany their meal with wine and raki from local vines and extremely delicious rusk. They drink mountain tea like malotira, dictamus, sage and consume plenty of pure thyme honey.
Thinking all this, he decided to create the “Cretan Corner”, a place with exquisite Cretan products where every visitor will have the opportunity to taste them. So he began a great trip in Crete, looking for the best product, this blessed place, produces. The journey of searching for the best Cretan products by Manolis does never stop, and always its sole destination is the best quality at the table of the customers- friends of “Cretan Corner”.
The “Cretan Corner” has been operating since May 2003 until today in Maleme, Chania, by Manolis Paparaftakis and his wife Irini Chnari. Their basic principle and unique advertisement is:
“You have the taste … You remember forever …”