Monday, March 9, 2009

Laurent Givry ( President Of Elite Imports ) Visits Store With One Of His Reps Lisa Giufre To Say " Hello " To Mike Martin & Me At Cleveland Park 2006

Here are the two photos that I took of this fun but short visit from Laurent Givry and Lisa Giufre in late 2006 I believe. At this time Laurent was still our salesperson even though he and Cindy were the owners of the import company Elite  that we saw start from scratch here from the store at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits.

     We have had so much fun with Laurent and he has even come here at least once with his mother as well as Cindy and their cute daughter. They have become like family to us, really.

     The other evening Laurent was nice enough to invite my family and me to dinner with Cindy at the 2941 restaurant in Fairview, Falls Church, northern Virginia. We had a gastronomic and wine blast of some of the best of each including a wonderful Condrieu white that I will have here in the store shortly as Laurent ad Cindy import it through their company called Elite. I will write more about it once we get it.

       Here are pictures of Mike Martin Lisa Giufre and Laurent Givry when Laurent was still taking care of our account. Lisa was not yet our sales person but has since been excellent really helping us well with the diverse and quite extensive collection of Elite's wines which are heavy in both French and Spanish but which also include excellent California as well as Chilean and Argentinean wines. We sell the whole gambit here.

     We know that it was hard for Laurent to give us up as an account. We are sorry to have lost him as we have in essence grown up/older together as well as wiser together. We miss you Laurent!

     At dinner at 2941 I learned some more of the details from Cindy of their original first few days on their own once they left Franklin selections. It was touch-and-go and it felt like they were both on pins and needles then. Cindy told me that Laurent said to her that he was going out to see us with some samples from the cases of wines that had just arrived in their warehouse. Would they show well? Would they make any sales immediately? These were genuine concerns and I might have been sweating bullets then myself!

     Turns out Laurent came here first to see Mike Martin and me and then Mark Slater at Citronelle restaurant. We tried the wines and gave Laurent their very first order for Elite Imports! Wow, I had already forgotten : it was awhile ago and so much has happened since. 

     Mark Slater later gave Laurent and order and he told Laurent at the time that he was pissed that he had not been the first to give Laurent an order. Oh well Mark, maybe the next time?

     As a result we have always held a special place in Laurent and Cindy's hearts and I am sure that this made it especially hard for him to give us up as an account? I think I am right when I say this. But Laurent has a lot on his plate and he is after all the president with Cindy of this impressive company. We have been thrilled to represent the whole range of these excellent wines now over the years.

     It's now Saturday, March 29th, 2009 here at Cleveland Park Wines & Spirits ( 8:46 PM ) and it's fun to look back at this great adventure of ours and the people like Laurent and Cindy ( and now Lisa ) that have been an integral part of it all. Over the years Laurent has brought us many of his wonderful owners/ winemakers.

     Earlier today we had Sotiris Bafitis here that now works with Aurelio Cabestrero ( president of Grapes Of Spain imports ) that sells his wines through Elite. It was a great Spanish tasting and we sold most of what we bought as there was pretty much a wine for everyone and every taste. We organized earlier this Wednesday with Lisa  what wines we would pour.

     I guess the only thing that could have made it better would have been a surprise visit from Laurent and Cindy? There's still time guys, hurry up on down here!

     I want to thank you both Laurent and Cindy for a really memorable meal at 2941 the other evening that I could share with my family. The chef's tasting meal was wonderful. My family has been watching Top Chef the show on Bravo and so they all knew about these meals with various " tasting small plates " of various foods. They did a great job at the restaurant and Laurent and the sommelier chose some wonderful wines for us to enjoy, too. It was all crafted carefully and expertly, with heart and with care there on the spot for us. The whole waiter staff was so attentive and we were truly pampered and feted in style. It was also wonderful to know that not far away one of the famous Auguste Rodin sculptures of one of the Bergers of Calais was there and keeping a watchful eye on us and the rest of the restaurant.

     Cheers Laurent and Cindy and here's to a fun past shared together as our paths crossed as well as to many more.  TONY


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