Demetrios Papadakis (aka Jimmy Pappas)
While growing up in the tiny village of Metamorphosis, Greece, working in the family olive grove was a way of life for Demetrios Papadakis. However, life changed dramatically for him at the age of 16, when he left his family and homeland and was adopted by his uncle Paul Apostle and then brought to the United States. Demetrios resided for a number of years in Jackson, Mississippi, learning the restaurant and hotel business under the guidance of his uncle. While in Jackson, Demetrios became affectionately known to his friends and associates as Jimmy Pappas. After moving to Tupelo, Mississippi, Jimmy Pappas began his own business, owning and operating the local Ramada Inn. Through the years he has owned and operated several other hotels in the Tupelo area, and currently Pappas owns and manages the Summit Convention Center. During the years of his hotel ownership Pappas met Sam Calloway, a billboard owner from Tuscaloosa, Alabama. They formed an immediate bond and friendship because Sam was also born in and adopted from Greece.
Efthimios Vassilopoulos (aka Sam Calloway)
Born Efthimios Vassilopoulos in Pyrgos, Greece, Sam’s mother and family were not physically or economically able to provide for him. Sam spent some time in an orphanage in Greece before being adopted at the age of five. He flew alone to New York City and was met there by his adopted parents, Walter and Stella Calloway. The couple renamed their son Samuel Efthimios Calloway. Sam was brought to the Calloway home in Florence, Alabama, and became part of their family. After high school, Sam attended the University of Alabama and began a career in steel fabrication and outdoor advertising.
In 1995 God graciously allowed Sam and Jimmy’s paths to cross when Sam approached Jimmy about purchasing billboard space for his hotels. Through the years the two men have shared a bond that only fellow Greeks understand. Mr. Pappas has not only been a mentor to Sam but has also taught him so much about the Greek culture and the importance of embracing family, both near and far. Through the efforts of Jimmy and his family in Greece, Sam’s birth mother was located and in 2005 Sam and his family were blessed to be able to travel to Greece and meet her.
Each year over the past 20 years, Jimmy has imported a small quantity of olive oil to share with family and friends. This oil comes from the same orchard that he worked as a child and that is still owned by Jimmy and his family today.
After several trips to Greece together, visiting the orchards and observing the harvesting and extraction process, Jimmy and Sam decided in 2017 to form Grecian Oil Importers, LLC. The oil that they import is branded “My Greek Orchard” and comes from Metamorphosis and eight other surrounding villages.
The oil is bottled and labeled in nearby Sikia, Greece, with labels designed by Pappas’ nephew Hristos Zervakos.
Search to find a store near you that carries My Greek Orchard.