byPeterandPauls.com began 30 years ago as a small bakery with a slightly different name. Today it’s a massive hospitality group that functions as a one-stop shop for all your entertainment needs.
As much as things have changed, one thing has stayed the same- industry legend Peter Eliopoulos is still committed to the art of entertainment.
Greek-born Eliopoulos arrived in Toronto as a teenager, bringing with him the love and flair for celebration through food and drink that Greece is famous for.
Like many Europeans who came to Canada before him, he grew up in the family business, in this case restaurants and bakeries, and he thrived in the quick paced world of baking and catering.
Even though the work was already in his blood, Eliopoulos decided to complete a business program at Seneca College. Then, after marrying his wife Anna, he bought and ran a very successful bakery named Paul’s Fine Foods, which was later, renamed Peter and Paul’s. It didn’t take long for Eliopoulos to expand the business to offer his clients catering and gift baskets. Little did Peter know this would be the blueprint for three decades of business success.
byPeterandPauls.com would go on to become a hospitality emporium, designed as one stop destination catering to the social and corporate market while offering a myriad of entertainment services all under one umbrella: Five state-of-the-art venues (Paramount, Bellagio Boutique Event Venue, The Manor, The Vue and Savoy) off-site catering (Tabletalk Catering), gift baskets (Peter & Paul’s Gifts Baskets and Promo), décor and event management (PURE Project Management), DJ and A/V solutions (S4 Show Solutions), wedding photography and videography (Image Commission), and advertising & design (Engine 8 Media).
“It’s the business that guided me to where we are today,” says Eliopoulos. “I always strive to do my best of course, but the business grew from a passion and from people knocking on your door because you are good at what you do.”
For Eliopoulos, that passion is, and always will be, for bringing people together and making sure they are having a spectacular time. 30 years later he is still driven by that same desire.
“I still remember the very first time I catered an event for a client,” says Eliopoulos. “I’ll never forget that. It was so exciting. And I’m happy to say that feeling has not gone away. In fact, I’m probably more appreciative and in awe than ever before- especially when I see that the company grown to include over 600 employees.”
“I have the hospitality gene,” smiles Eliopoulos, “it’s as simple as that.” He estimates he has thrown over 66,000 events in his career. For anybody keeping score, that’s roughly 5,800,000 guests and 28,800,000 cocktails served.
Eliopoulos personally oversees every aspect of this multi-dimension hospitality empire, but could not do it without the “cohesive involvement” of the Peter & Paul’s team, his partners, management as well as his family. His wife, Anna, is a partner to Peter in all aspects of their lives, and runs Peter and Pauls’ Gifts, Baskets and Promo. Both Peter and Anna strive to provide “something unique” and only the finest in service because they are helping clients celebrate events and create memories that will last a lifetime.
As to the key to his success, Eliopoulos says, without hesitation, that it is a focus on customer service. “We’ve been called leaders and innovators in the hospitality and entertainment industry but the fact is we love what we do and what we do is aim high. We want your event to be one of a kind which is why we strive for excellence every day. Good service is something that I cannot stress enough,” he says. “We live in such a fast paced world that attention to detail is being eliminated. Every day I see it.”
Along with service, all byPeterandPauls.com food service companies hold themselves to the highest standards. Peter continues, “It’s very difficult today because of the world we live in where everything is premade and pre-packaged but we strive very hard to make everything from scratch and serve a meal that is comparable to a high end restaurant. I really mean that. When someone comes to our place, we have the reputation that they know they are going to eat well.”
In addition to making sure your taste buds are satisfied, byPeterandPauls.com is also committed to giving back to the community. Peter regularly gives to charity and his company’s annual Care for Kids Golf Classic at the Manor Carrying Place has raised close to $1 million for Toronto’s Sick Kids’ Hospital and New Leaf. “It’s all about giving back,” he said “It’s priceless.”
George Tsioutsioulas, Creative Director of Engine 8 Media, and a well-known media personality, has worked with Eliopoulos for many years. “Peter has high standards and expectations of himself and of course that spills out over the whole company. His own personal desire to always offer the very best for himself and everyone else is the thread amongst the businesses.
Tsioutsioulas says Eliopoulos’ ability “to exist, thrive, grow expand and make a mark over the course of 30 years is incredible especially in the hospitality industry. I think a big part of that is Peter. I’ve described him as the straw that mixes the drink. He is the life of the party, people love being around him, he loves being around people, putting all the pieces together for a fabulous event and it’s great to see and what’s amazing to me is that it is not done – he’s just getting warmed up.”