The parents and their four children chose Plomari province to start their new life. George, who was born around 1880, was the only one who remained on the island; the other three siblings migrated to South Africa.
At that time, olive oil production and vine growing were the two main agricultural activities of the islanders. During the summer, they harvested grapes and in the winter they picked olives. That was the beginning of the island’s long-standing tradition in wine making, and in the production of distillates and olive oil. When, however, phylloxera hit Lesbos’s vineyards, it led to an even greater expansion of the olive-tree cultivation.
By the end of the 19th century, George Protoulis owned 30 acres of land. The harvest was laborious; the crops had to be gathered at the small, traditional, old-style olive mills of the area.
Giannis, George’s son and Kostas’ father, decided to get more actively involved in the business and invest in local olive oil. He acquired another 50 acres of land and in 1975, built his first olive mill at Megalohori village.