The day I met Yannos was really cold and humid. We agreed to meet in a little coffee shop on a Sunday morning in the heart of London. When I arrived I looked around and thought that I got there first. So, I sat next to the coffee machine, waiting for my coffee, without realizing that the gentleman behind me, sitting by the window, was reading a Greek book. Not just any book, but one written by a very familiar “wine” name: George Kokotos, called Tzia-Thermia. Yannos Hadjiioannou shouted my name and it was then that I realized that my interviewee got to our meeting spot before me.
Few non-natives may feel confidant enough to say that they actually understand how the British Market works and what is needed to understand the Londoner consumer. But Yannos has been living in London for 20 years. He did take me by surprise when I said that I‘ve been staying here for almost 4 years now and he replied: “Oh, so you’re quite fresh!” He came to Great Britain to study Economics and then started working on a bank’s trading floor for many years, when he realized that his true passion was to open a specialist Greek food and wine deli. To build on the brand and notion of “Greece”. The idea of wining & dining hadn’t left him since 2007, when his Italian friend opened a traditional deli. He was observing the Italians crowded in the shop to find the smells and tastes associated with their idea of Home.
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