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Pantocratoros & Ilias. From the old city of Patras, to 16 countries throughout the world. We started on Pantocratoros street. It seems to have been fate!
It all started in the early 1950s. When at the junction of Pantocratoros and Ilias streets, behind the historical temple that still exists today in the old city of Patras, Panagiotis Marlafekas founded “LOUX”, a small family business initially producing orange drink, lemonade and soda water.
The manufacturing processes were naturally primitive: “Bottling took place by hand, bottle capping by hand.” And with corresponding, for that time, distribution took place, “by cart.”
At the time, in the Achaean capital another 11 similar sized competing companies operated. The only way to distinguish one was to choose the best materials, combine it with their love of making their product to create unique recipes, hoping to be favoured by the Patras consumers. The combination of superior quality and distinctive flavour worked. Soon, “LOUX” orange drink, lemonades and soda water became amongst the favourite drinks of the Patras consumers.
Year after year LOUX continued to steadily rise.
In the early 1970’s, “LOUX” was now employing 10 people, while production was close to 100 boxes a day! However, the small unit of Pantocratoros street could no longer meet the needs that had arisen in the market. This fact, along with the arrival of multinational companies in Greece in 1967, made it imperative to relocate the business to another space. The goal was that the new unit had greater capacity, and advanced technologies, in response to the growing competition.
It was in 1972, when Panagiotis Marlafekas decided to move the plant to privately owned, larger and more modernized facilities.
“LOUX” A short story for a historical name
While setting up his small industry, Panagiotis Marlafekas, had approached a talented local song composer to give him a list of possible names for the new business. Among the ten proposed, “LOUX” was on the list.
It is the era in post war Greece when the word “LOUX” became synonymous for luxury, special care and superior quality. This is the major reason it was chosen for these newly established soft drinks.
LOUX finds its “natural” home.
Kefalovrisso is a small paradise, an area of lush greenery, full of old growth trees, reminiscent of the promised land. However, at the time it was far from Patras and the daily distribution points, it was located in “the middle of nowhere” and, above all, lacked basic infrastructure! There was no phone and there was not even any electricity!
It hides, though, underground a real treasure, the water of highest quality of Kefalovrissos! (light water , rich in minerals and rare natural value.) This was the basic criterion of Panagiotis Marlafekas for the selection of relocation: “quality at any cost”. Despite the emerging difficulties, the founder of LOUX chooses to utilize a unique opportunity for total quality improvement of the LOUX beverages. The subsequent course of the business has proved that the choice was correct.
Since then, LOUX products stand out from any other beverage in Greece and worldwide. They are the only ones prepared with water from Kefalovrissos. Something that is proudly inscribed in every LOUX package.
Production & Distribution Units
Today LOUX is the only Greek company of soft drinks and juices with a fully integrated production line. This means total and absolute control of quality: from the harvesting and sorting of the raw material, to the bottling and merchandising at the point of sale.
It has three privately owned modern units, of production, bottling and distribution, spanning a total area of 33,000 sqm, of which 7,800 sqm. are spaces covered indoors.
The first unit is the plant in Kefalovrissos.
All of the LOUX drinks are produced here using the state-of-the-art equipment, along with the fully automated processes and the most advanced international quality control methods for hygiene and packaging.
With the key ingredient being the excellent quality of Kefalovrissos water, the addition of natural fruit juices and the selection of raw materials, along with the ideal balance of carbonate, LOUX soft drinks stand out for their quality and purity, offering delightfully refreshing flavours, with unique Greek taste.
The production of LOUX is certified with ISO 9001: 2008 and ISO 22000: 2005.
The second unit is the distribution centre, located in the area Saravali. From here more than 60 million packages will leave to reach their destination.
The third unit, packaging production, is located in Aigio. LOUX is the only Greek company in its sector to possess a vertically integrated packaging plant of such modern standards.
With the latest technology machinery and fully automated processes, PET type packages are produced here. At this facility is the production of the flagship LOUX plastic bottles, with the distinctive shape and textured surface – inspired by the orange peel – which makes each LOUX refreshment even more special.
Here again, quality control is very strict and done without any compromise. It starts by sorting the raw material – to ensure that they come from primary and not recycled material – and continues non-stop, until the last step in the production process. This results in the production of outstanding quality packaging, ensuring longer life and excellent preservation of products.
Since November of 2008, in order to reduce transportation costs, and delivery times, LOUX has created a new, well-equipped logistics centre in Attica.
Innovations & Rewards
The list of innovations and business distinctions of LOUX is equally impressive with its financial figures.