Elegantly Fusing.

Interview by Elsa Soimoiri

Aglaia Vasila, a woman of distinction, seamlessly melds the allure of art with the refinement of fine drinks—a passion evident in the unparalleled Choix Wine Concept Store by Cava Halari.

The power of Aglaia Vasila doesn’t just lie in her achievements with Cava Halari and its growing empire of stores. Her years of experience in the yachting industry made her its main supplier, capable of delivering the rarest of her clients’ desires. Her artistic passion only enhances her strong business acumen, resulting in special initiatives like the Choix Wine Concept Store, which combines exquisite retail services with creative events. Bringing people together and giving them beautiful experiences is her life’s purpose.

What inspired you to create Choix Wine Concept Store in one of the oldest preserved buildings on Leoforos Athinon Pireos in Piraeus?

The area itself and its energy. I dreamt of this concept years ago, and it was time to realise it. Art in all its forms inspires me every day. The old merging with the new enchants me, as does enjoying a fine old wine.
I’ve merged everything I love into this space. Art, interior design, lifestyle, wines, and spirits. They all relate to the senses. Another thing they have in common is that they’re always timely and creative regardless of age. I find them liberating and perfect for experimentation.

At the Choix Wine Concept Store, a visitor can find spirits, wines from across the globe, fine organic products from Greek producers, as well as scented candles, paintings and sculptures, charms, handmade clothes and accessories, elegant tableware, and specially wrapped gift sets. What prompts you to maintain such a high standard of aesthetics?

I’ve been developing this aesthetic for years now by travelling, searching, researching, observing… It’s my number one priority in my work.

The solera method defines how we work, no different from ageing sherry.

Aglaia Vasila

Choix by Cava Halari has the Wine Concept Store on the ground floor and a new, alternative venue on the first floor for hosting artistic, social, and corporate events. How did you choose to marry retail with events?

Everything’s connected. A nice glass of wine and a special gift can create beautiful moments, an event, you could say. At the same time, art is subjective. It lets you express yourself. Wine and spirits do the same thing, so it seemed natural to combine these elements in an 1890s building that embraces it all in a powerful way.

As the soul and founder of the Cava Halari stores, what feedback do you have regarding today’s consumers and their relationship with fine tastes?

We live in a gastronomic country. This and the high-quality products available at our stores create happy and demanding customers. And we at Cava Halari raise the bar further as we support and provide them with the best. We assess ourselves every day. We don’t rest. We stay up to date on new deli, biological, and gluten free products, making sure we offer whatever’ s trending and package it nicely. We try everything before recommending it, of course, just like we’d do with house guests.

The old merging with the new enchants me, as does enjoying a fine old wine.

Aglaia Vasila

You’re one of the oldest and most experienced yacht provisioning entrepreneurs in an area whose boundaries start at the beachfront, stretches from Piraeus to Sounion, and reaches every marina in Greece. What challenges do you face in this market?

Customer demand makes it difficult to upgrade our stock’s variety and quality, find and serve everything requested, and make recommendations that reflect our clients’ wants. But the greatest challenge has been the accumulation of knowledge and experience over all these years. The Cava Halari team is made up of highly qualified members, so that it can satisfy every demand with know-how and discretion, integral due to our clientele’s prestige. I’m very lucky because my team’s foundation are people who have been with me for 20 odd years. The solera method defines how we work, no different from ageing sherry. New people come, bond with older staff, and acquire a portion of their knowledge and experience. And we move forward together. As in any field, staying on top every year is also a challenge. So is being one step ahead of clients’ needs. And all this within a climate of healthy competition.

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