Missing cooking and missing the customers is what made one local woman want to start up her Greek restaurant again.
Sophia Daskalakis opened The Olive Tree at 412 William St. last Monday, years after she sold her former property to allow for Kohl's to be built.
"I work part-time," Daskalakis said. "I see a lot of my customers there. I miss being my own boss. I have to have someone to cook for."
Father Dan Kovalak, of the Holy Cross Orthodox Church, blesses Sophia Daskalakis in a ceremony before the restaurant officially opened.
The biggest change for her new business is a smaller space, which includes a smaller oven. She does not have any future plans for expansion yet. Right now, she is focused on keeping the business open.
"I want to make it do well enough that it keeps me happy," she said.
Still, she intends to keep everything homemade, the way she learned it from her grandmother.
"My grandmother raised a family during World War II," Daskalakis said. "A lot of the dishes made during the world, I learned how to make. We had olive trees, olive oil and soup. What else do you need?"
Daskalakis said she specializes in soups and sandwiches.
"Nothing deep fried," she said. "It makes a difference in the taste. I'll make some American food."
She also likes to experiment with various ingredients to try to make something new.
"I like to do what no one else does," she said.
When Daskalakis first tried introducing the Greek food in her restaurant, she said it did not go over well. A year later, she tried it again with more success.
"Greek food is mostly all made natural," Daskalakis said, "It's fresh ingredients, not frozen. We don't use tomato sauce like the Italians do. We use olive oil and sauteed onions, things that are really good for you."
Daskalakis will be working by herself, but she said whatever girlfriends come to visit the restaurant will get put to work. If it works out, she said she might hire someone to do breakfast.
"I used to fill up the restaurant and I did it by myself," she said. "I didn't have (the restaurant). It had me."
The Olive Tree is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information call 360-2691.