Olga’s Kitchen Celebrates 50 Years of Original Flavors and Spicy Snackers

By: Karen Dybis | September 18, 2020

Photo Courtesy of Olga's.

Whatever age or season of life, there is one thing most Metro Detroit residents can relate to: The first time they had an Olga’s sandwich or a warm plate full of spicy, flavorful Snackers that you wanted to keep all to yourself.

Olga’s Kitchen, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this month, is one of those venerable food companies and group of restaurants that make living in Michigan so great. It is a tribute to not only the creator, Olga Loizon, but to how much food matters to this state, the tri-county area as well as its long-time fans. 

To celebrate half a century in business, Olga’s Kitchen is holding a party at its restaurants and through its app. Every week through the beginning of October, Olga’s will have a new promotion on the app for guests to use either dining in or through its carryout service. (The app is available to download via Apple or Google Play.)

These aren’t just any menu items – they are the ones where Olga’s story truly begins. Offers range from the Original Olga to a free side of Olga’s signature Snackers with any purchase to a free dessert with any purchase. These deals continue through Sunday, Oct. 4. 

“We wanted to make sure we were rewarding guest and thanking them for 50 years,” Loredana Gianino, Marketing Manager with Olga’s Kitchen, said. 

All Olga’s Kitchen locations are open (at 50% capacity because of coronavirus requirements) and the company sped up its creation of a delivery service so people could order their favorite dishes straight to their homes, Gianino said.

To honor Olga herself as well as her spirit of innovation, Gianino said the chain’s current chef came up with some limited time flavors to add to the menu. These new items include a Chicken Bruschette Olga, Tuscan Panzanella Salad with Chicken, Blood Orange Seltzer and a new Olga Bread Pudding featuring Chocolate Hazelnut.

“Every eight to 10 weeks, our chef creates a new, limited-time offer to continue that innovation and spirit that Olga herself had,” Gianino said. “Part of what made us so unique for 50 years is how we prepare our food – we cook to order. Every Olga bread comes fresh from a dough ball with every order.”

For you history buffs, Olga’s story starts way back in the mid-1950s when Loizon went on a vacation to Greece, Gianino said. She took her three kids with her, and they had a ball visiting with her family and enjoying the fresh, Mediterranean foods. 

When she got home, Loizon and her kids missed the souvlaki, the pita bread and all of the spices that made that vacation so special. Loizon wanted to recreate that traditional Greek sandwich, which includes meat and veggies wrapped in a warm pita. Loizon got her own vertical rotisserie and worked for more than two years to come up with her own pita recipe.

That one-of-a-kind pita remains the same even today – and those bakers who help the Olga’s restaurant chain make the dough have to sign a confidentiality agreement to learn what ingredients are in it, Gianino said. 

Today, the Original Olga features seasoned beef and lamb, tomatoes, onions and the classic Olgasauce. This treat may have simple ingredients, but it fills your stomach as well as your taste buds with its satisfying bites, Gianino said. That is why it is still around even five decades into the business, growing from her first storefront in Birmingham. 

Today, Olga’s Kitchen is owned by TEAM Schostak Family Restaurants and boasts over 25 locations and an expanded menu. All the classics that made Olga’s famous are still here, plus a variety of new entrees made fresh daily and served on that famous Olga Bread.