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Don’t Stop Believin’ in a Whole New World October 31, 2009

Posted by Alex Sawit in Happenings at the Shop.

By Alex Sawit

31 October 2009


It’s been a fun October at the shop thanks to the amazing voice (or voices) of our favorite YouTube™ sensation, Nick Pitera. I’ve been showing his videos to unsuspecting visitors all month long and I still haven’t gotten tired of audience reactions to his jaw-dropping renditions of A Whole New World (his version of Brad King and Lea Salonga singing from Disney’s Aladdin) and Don’t Stop Believin’ (his duet version of the Glee cover of the Journey song). He’s a very good male vocalist but everybody agrees that his crossover voice is even better. A lot of women would kill to sing this good.

I guess it’s fitting that we were playing these two songs night after night for guests even if only for their gag value. This was a month of big change at our little neighborhood wine shop. In a cheesy but endearing way, these songs happily expressed our outlook on a whole new world of business opportunities that we now want to pursue.

When we opened Cyrano five years ago on October 23, 2004, we had a clear idea of what we wanted to be. But while we succeeded in creating a selling concept that would later become the “Cyrano friends” experience, for lack of resources we fell short of our final vision. The whole concept was sound but the execution needed a new spark of life. If we were ever going to achieve that vision then we had to get the people we needed to make it happen.

So we did. Allow me to officially introduce you to Cyrano’s new partners: Ric Dizon, Jonathan “Joco” Co and Cecile Mauricio.

Most Cyrano friends already know Ric and Joco as two of their own. We met Ric years ago after we opened shop and discovered 1) that he owned a spa across the street and 2) that he had recently visited Napa Valley and picked up a liking for wine. Though he gave up his stake in the spa not long afterward, Ric remained a believer in Cyrano. He’s a street smart guy with a fertile entrepreneurial mind, but more than that he has also become a dear friend, one whom I praise for his generosity of spirit and whom I admire for his faith in the goodness of others.

Joco? He’s been a believer in Cyrano since, well, forever. Equally adept at discussing the product benefits of using polyethylene terephthalate as he is at making a tour guide pitch about the Quail’s Gate vineyard estate in British Columbia, Joco brings both a discriminating wine palate and a process-oriented way of thinking to the business. Plus he instantly improves the view from our window every time he parks his red Porsche 911 out front.

Then there’s my longtime friend Cecile. One of the classiest ladies I’ve ever met, she speaks impeccable French, is an excellent bread maker and is now a devoted martial artist (good luck trying to take her away from her kendo practice). But that’s gravy. Cecile is an influential food & wine writer and is a much sought after consultant in the industry (she recently designed the training course for wine at La Salle Bacolod and regularly conducts wine classes at Asian Culinary Institute for her friend Chef Gene Gonzales). I’m glad that she’s already made a difference in rebuilding our wine inventory and in refocusing our operational efforts.

Together with my sister and me, we’re the re-booted Cyrano team. And we’re pretty excited about our wine shop’s future (to give you a sneak preview, expect to find more than one Cyrano Wine Shop by next year).

All together now (chorus): “Don’t stop believin’…”





1. JoCo - November 18, 2009

Thank you for the kind words Alex 🙂

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