MANCHESTER, NH – In 2019, Effie and Loukas Pozios left their homeland in Karditsa, Greece, with their young family to pursue the ever-elusive American Dream.
“I had a dream when I was a child to come to America and open restaurants,” said Loukas Pozios, the new co-owner and head cook at Chelby’s Pizza on Mammoth Road in Manchester.
His wife and co-owner Effie said she shares her husband’s dream. “We wanted to create our own story and our own path,” she said.
Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, closing millions of businesses worldwide and putting a temporary halt on the Pozios’ plans to own a restaurant in America.
But they waited it out, and when the Pozios heard in 2023 that the previous owners of Chelby’s Pizza, siblings Heidi and John Liolios, were considering selling the business, they arranged a meeting to discuss plans to purchase the restaurant.
The Pozios’ said that they had heard of the Liolios, who are fellow Greek countrymen and friendly with Effie’s father—who owns a restaurant called Keramario in Karditsa, where both Loukas and Effie worked before coming to America.
The Liolios and Pozios families agreed to terms, and in July, the Pozios took over the iconic Manchester restaurant.
“I thought they were the perfect fit,” said former owner Heidi Liolios. “They were a young couple with a small family and an enthusiasm and a passion for the restaurant business. They’re the perfect fit for that place. I wanted to keep it as it was: a family-owned restaurant. I didn’t want to change the essence of Chelby’s.”
So far, the transfer has been seamless.
“The transition has been very good,” said Effie Pozios. “Heidi and John were a very big help, and our employees and the regular customers have also been a big help. They’ve really embraced us.”
While maintaining the “essence” of Chelby’s Pizza, the Pozios’ said they are also committed to adding their own authentic homemade Greek dishes to the specials’ menu, such as Spanakopita, lamb shank and pastitsio, which Loukas makes himself.
“We want to put out the best food and add some really authentic Greek flavors,” said Loukas Pozios. “I worked for years for other people, and now this is my dream.”
And patrons have offered high praise for Loukas Pozios’ Greek specials.
“I’ve worked at Greek restaurants, and it is some of the best Greek food I’ve ever tasted,” said Liz Graziano, a regular customer and a passionate foodie.
But the Pozios said that they have no immediate plans to make the Greek specials —which require daily preparation and prohibit freezing to maintain their freshness—a part of the permanent menu.
However, the new owners said they will “see how it goes” and “maybe down the road” they’ll consider making them a laminated staple on Chelby’s menu.
For now, Effie and Loukas Pozios and their family—their two girls, 7 years old and 2 years old, and their 8-year-old son—are living their American Dream in Manchester.
“We want to be true to ourselves, the food we serve, and our customers,” said Effie Pozios. “We want to put out good authentic food of all kinds.”
 Full-disclosure: this correspondent—as some readers may note—has been a regular at a regular at Chelby’s Pizza for the past two decades.
 More disclosure: Liz Graziano is this correspondent’s wife, but I can also attest to her knowledge and passion as a food-lover.