THRIVE is an AIWA-SF April project dedicated to highlighting Armenians who are doing amazing things in their personal and professional lives to better themselves and those around them. These individuals are inspiring, dynamic, innovative and interesting. Today, we feature Stepan W. Baghdassarian.
Name: Stepan W. Baghdassarian, President of Rio Joe’s Brands, Inc. , dba myWinePlus.com, WinesofArmenia.com, Bar Depot (wholesale operation).
Born in Lebanon and raised in Los Angeles; after graduating from UCLA attended Whittier College School of Law and immersed himself in the practice of law. As an attorney with offices in Los Angeles and for a while in Sao Paulo, Brazil, he represented businesses and individuals in the United States, Brazil and China.
An entrepreneurial and independent spirit is evident in everything he does. Whether it was the practice of law, or the trade/commerce, which he transitioned into; entrepreneurship has always been the root of all his endeavors.
Baghdassarian transitioned into business and seeing the trend, we were the first company on the West Coast to import Cachaça from Brazil, thus adding to the whole Brazilian food and spirits revival in the U.S.
Subsequently, having always liked and enjoyed wine, a career in wine is something he has always had interested in. Given this decision, he started traveling to South America and Europe and started importing wines from small boutique wineries and distributing them in California and the West Coast.
Wine has always been a passion of Baghdassarian, and discovering new frontiers is the ultimate buzz, which brings him to our Armenian wines.
1o years ago, Armenian wines were not something anyone recommended to friends or colleagues, but something was changing. First came Zorah Karasi to the World scene, which permanently changed for the better the image of Armenian wines. Through his ecommerce site myWinePlus.com we spread the word about Zorah Karasi and introduced it to Armenians and non-Armenians alike throughout the U.S. Since then, and with the addition of other prize worthy Armenian wines like Kataro, Van Ardi and now Voskeni and Old Bridge, Armenian wines became the talk of the town and are giving those who enjoy great wines something new to drink.
Given the trend of the Armenian wines, he has added WinesofArmenia.com to the sales strategy to help market and direct consumers to buy and enjoy great Armenian wines. WinesofArmenia.com is not only selling Armenian wines in the U.S., but also creating jobs for the farmers in Armenia, the truck drivers in Armenia, the winemakers in Armenia and the entire ecosystem that exists in producing quality wines, and they are happy that we have great quality wines to offer to the American wine consumer.
#winesofArmenia #armenianwines myWinePlus.com WinesofArmenia.com
Question: What is your life philosophy?
My philosophy has always been to improve myself and to help those who are less fortunate.
Question: How has being Armenian influenced you?
Being Armenian has defined who I am; how I was raised, who I deal with, how I deal with others, what I eat, what I drink, who I married and how I want to raise my kids.
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