Mentis Estate and Mentis Photography
Anastassios Mentis embodies the entrepreneurial spirit that makes New York City a hub for diversity, creativity, and small business. A seasoned photographer and olive oil expert, Anastassios has turned his two loves into two businesses, Mentis Estate and Mentis Photography.
Growing up on his family’s olive farm in Laconia, Greece, Anastassios Mentis learned about entrepreneurship and business from a young age. Started by his great-grandfather in the 1870s, the farm is where Anastassios learned to harvest and press olives to turn them into liquid gold and where his love for photography and capturing every day beauty began.
After studying photography in Germany at the Volkshochschulen School in Berlin, Anastassios moved to New York trained at the International Center of Photography (ICP) and began Mentis Photography. Here he has specialized in shooting food, portraits, travel, architecture, and interior design. Anastassios credits much of his passion for photography to his experience working on a cruise ship early in his career. The job took him around the world and inspired him to learn more about different cultures and lifestyles. Naturally, Mentis Photography’s portfolio includes not only extensive magazine and events work, but also travel and documentary photography in places such as Cuba and Tibet.
During a shoot in 2011 Anastassios met olive oil importer, Alexandros Kontogouris, who he impressed with his family’s olive oil and encouraged him to bring the product to the United States. With the help of his mother, Eleni, who oversees the harvesting and bottling, Mentis Estate has steadily grown, producing between 6,000 and 10,000 liters of olive oil annually. Currently over two dozen gourmet food stores carry Mentis Estate throughout the city and it is regularly available at different food shows and markets. Mentis Estate now also offers fleur de sel, a high quality finishing sea salt.
Anastassios hopes to grow Mentis Estate’s production and keep growing artistically through more documentary work. New York is not only where he has built his business and pursued his passions, but also where he has built his family and hopes to continue to make it his home.