On The Job – Elaine Setas

Elaine Setas holding up a Greek plate that she made.

Owner of Taste & Art of Greece

Elaine Setas is the owner of Taste and Art of Greece at 32 Hanover St. in Manchester.

Explain your job and what it entails.

I am the owner of Taste and Art of Greece. We are a Greek import business supporting small-batch artists and designers of Greece… .

How long have you had this job?

I started in 2018, with launching a website, TasteandArtofGreece.com. Since 2021 we have had some pop-up boutiques that were temporary around Manchester. [The Hanover Street location opened in 2023.]

What led you to this career field and your current job?

…A friend of mine in Greece who lives on the island of Lesbos who is my business partner, he had the idea to bring a traditional store but didn’t know how to launch it. I… I ended up getting laid off from my office job right before Covid in 2019 and decided to give this 100 percent of my energy, and it has become a labor of love for me.

What kind of education or training did you need?

Everything I have done has led up to this point. I was an English major, I was in theater, but I was an office assistant. What helped me with what I took in school: I was well-spoken, well-read, I could write well. I wasn’t shy in front of people because of my theater training. I learned a lot from my various office jobs over the years. Especially my last job I was at, 11 years working for CEOs and presidents. … They showed me a lot of the marketing that you need for this kind of job, because I am not just selling product. We are sharing stories about the artists, about who made the product… .

What is your typical at-work uniform or attire?

Well, right now, I try to wear Mediterranean-inspired clothes, but on occasion you will see me in leggings and a sweatshirt.

What is the most challenging thing about your work, and how do you deal with it?

I want to say sometimes people don’t understand what goes into the price of something. Or they don’t understand that a handmade item that’s being shipped from Greece might be at a certain price point … we are not buying our things mass-produced. Then we’re paying for customs, we are paying for shipping, we are paying the artist to support their work.

What do you wish you had known at the beginning of your career?

Learning how to bring things in through customs was not easy. We wanted to have more food coming from Greece and we realized we had to deal with FDA regulations. … I wish I knew more Greek. … I can answer in English, I can understand [Greek] but I speak in English.

What do you wish other people knew about your job?

I don’t take the fact lightly that I am representing special artists and designers.

What was your first job?

The first job I ever had was working for my dad at Dunkin’ Donuts. As a waitress.

Zachary Lewis

This interview was condensed.

Five favorites
Favorite book: short stories and short story anthologies
Favorite movie: A Room with a View
Favorite music: U2. ’80’s music. Anything with George Michael.
Favorite food: Chinese
Favorite thing about NH: I love that it’s got mountains and lakes, and you can feel like you are in another world in some parts of the state.

Featured photo: Elaine Setas. Courtesy Photo.

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