Global Excellence Awards 2020

Page 48 LUX 2020 Global Excellence Awards Based in Athens, Georgia, Shiraz is the ultimate destination for food and wine, specializing in rare and hard-to-find wines bought from family businesses rather than corporations. ‘We are foodies, not wine snobs’, says Owner Emily Garrison, a former sommelier who adores achieving the perfect pairing between wines and dishes. Indeed, the Shiraz mentality is that wine is an essential food group to be enjoyed every day without pretentiousness or elitism. Thus, Shiraz has created a selection of wines that are eclectic, inviting and friendly, organized in a manner that makes them accessible to customers seeking familiar favorites or daring to try something new. Each wine is paired with Shiraz’s delicious selection of gourmet foods, cheeses and gifts that are sourced from all over the world and, like the wines, are regularly rotated to ensure that Shiraz customers can discover something new every time they visit. As the local provider for Le Creuset, Jeni’s Ice Cream and sushi-grade fish and grass-fed beef, Emily also regularly attends trade shows across the US to discover new products, reaches out to suppliers that intrigue her, and consults a trusted importer to source the less readily available delicacies and wines for her customers. “We try everything, no exceptions,” says Emily. “Not one food or gift comes in the door that wasn’t tasted or tried out first. We also have a 100% guarantee on everything we sell that comes straight from the top. We make sure everything is perfect for our clients.” Shiraz Athens is an award- winning supplier of fine wines and gourmet foods located in Athens, Georgia specializing in hidden gems from across the US and the world. Removing all pretentiousness from fine wines, Shiraz views wine as a food group to be enjoyed on a daily basis, accompanied by culinary delicacies and with excellent company. Founder and Certified Wine Specialist, Emily Garrison tells us more. Shiraz FineWine & Gourmet Leading Specialist In Food And Wine Pairing - Northeast Georgia Even if customers can’t find what they are looking for from the Shiraz stocks that boast more than 800 wines, Emily and her team are able to special order the wine they are looking for, going above and beyond to ensure every customer experience is excellent. “Customer service is tops for us, and we make sure we have the value items to back that up, whether you spend $10 or $1000.” As such, whether clients are visiting in store or online, they are guaranteed a shopping experience that is not only successful, but enjoyable. Emily answers calls and emails quickly in and out of office hours, ensuring that she can meet and exceed client expectations without ever having to say no if possible. This commitment has remained true even throughout the recent pandemic, although maintaining the same immersive experience for customers has at times been challenging. “We have had to cancel wine tastings and can no longer serve samples in the store, which was a huge blow, as we sell food items people are less familiar with,” Emily tells us. However, Shiraz has been quick to adapt, increasing its produce and frozen items, introducing curbside click and collect and delivery services, and enhancing its online platforms. The website and online store has been vital to continued business activity whilst the shop’s social media presence has also been growing which has been an exciting opportunity for development for Emily and her shop, which came into being long before Facebook. Until such time that Shiraz can open its doors once more, the team continues to search for new and exciting products, tasting and testing them all to ensure that they are of the same high standard that the firm has cultivated in its offering and service over the years. Shiraz will also have its annual minor revamp to make sure that it is always fresh and relevant for its customers and will be bringing some products exclusive to the USA from central Europe this year. It is an exciting time for Emily and Shiraz, and we wish them all the best for their continued expansion and amicable, pretense-free revolution of the gourmet food and wine industry. Company: Shiraz Fine Wine & Gourmet Contact: Emily Garrison Website: