The Greek America Foundation is proud to honor the life and legacy of Christos Mitsis, an immigrant from Greece who arrived with less than $20 in his pocket and worked hard to instill the value of education in his entire family.
Christos Mitsis was born in 1948 in Ioannina, Greece. He emigrated to the United States when he was 17 years old, landing in Savannah, Georgia with less than $20 in his pocket and the name and phone number of a contact in New York City who was to give him a job washing dishes.
He made his way to New York City and became involved in the meat industry. He worked hard or as he would say “let’s rock and roll,” and eventually opened his own butcher shop in Greenwich Village— University Place Market— which he ran for close to a decade.
His next twenty-plus year venture was running his own meat distribution company which supplied meat and poultry to a number of restaurants and diners (mostly Greek-owned) all over Manhattan. He loved his slogan “Nobody beats our meat.”
Speaking of meat— Mr. Mitsis was always in charge of the turkey every year at Thanksgiving as the family’s resident butcher and he relished the day that his entire family would come together and celebrate.
Mr. Mitsis was a charming and gregarious man who made friends wherever he went. He was married twice, to Valerie Shore and later to Effie Mitsis, and had four children— Steven, Christine, Konstantina and Christopher.
He strongly believed in the value of education. As he would say in his thick Greek accent, “education first.” He sat for hours every night after work helping Konstantina and Christopher with their Greek homework. And he also encouraged and supported his wife Effie who decided to pursue an undergraduate degree (and ultimately obtained a PhD) when Konstantina and Christopher were very young.
Mr. Mitsis also loved children, with a soft spot for his four grandchildren – Sydney, Summer, Luca and Marco.
The family of Mr. Mitsis has established the Christos Mitsis Memorial Scholarship that will support deserving Greek American students in their university studies.
Donate to the Christos Mitsis Memorial Scholarship
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The Greek America Cultural and Educational Foundation [Greek America Foundation] is a 501c3 non-profit corporation in the state of New York. Federal ID #81-1672793. All donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Reference IRS Publication 526.