What makes a resort like Vassaliki work?
Well the answer is to surround yourself with a great group of local suppliers. These people work all the hours during the busy summer season making sure companies like ours have all the supplies and services we need. They are the unsung heroes of Vassaliki and this article is a small introduction to some of these people.
First we need a resort and we are lucky to have been working with a fantastic Greek family for the last 12 years. Lambros and his wife Kiki make sure at the start of every summer that Vassaliki is set ready for us to operate. This includes yearly repairs and maintenance. We have a great working relationship with these guys and we are always discussing how we continue to maintain and improve the resort for both them and us.
When you arrive in Kefalonia you need to get from the airport to the resort. We have been working now for the last three summers with Evangelia our taxi driver who lives only a stones throw from Vassaliki and she is always ready to help collect and deliver our guests to anywhere around the island with a big smile. Alternatively our guests may need a car. We have been working with Mercury car hire since we opened the resort back in 2007. They have been amazing, stepping up to even resolve issues with other car hire firms. We really appreciate the fast and efficient service they offer us and their generosity.
So now you are here, you want a clean room to move into and Sam (Tinkerbell) and her mum Sheila have been a major part of our team for two years now. But they cannot do their job without two major suppliers. First is of course our laundry service, Ionio Laundry have been cleaning our sheets and towels now for about 10 years at their state of the art laundry factory. This really is an amazing place, run mainly by solar, the owners are always looking for new ways to make their facility more eco friendly. The quality of the work they do is amazing, making it easy for our staff to turn rooms around quickly.
Our cleaning team also requires a lot of cleaning chemicals, cloths, mops etc and our suppliers in Argostoli offers a full range of equipment and chemicals as well as a continuous stock of good old fashioned toilet roll. This little family business also provides us with many of our kitchen supplies such as plates, glasses (we go through quite a few) and the all important coffee!
We seem to have moved onto drinks which we notice is very important to our guests! Our drinks supplier has been working with us since we opened in 2007. This family run business supplies all our beer (very important), soft drinks and water. Yaya (grandma) is always there to meet you with her infectious smile, whilst her daughter manages the paperwork and orders at her desk, as well as keeping control of all the boys in the warehouse.
Our other main food and drink suppliers are great characters and this team of brothers provides all our spirits, wine and basic ingredients for the kitchen. Kostis and Yianni run a tight ship and have everything we need to keep our fridges full with all the dry stock, dairy and cold meats. They are also very enterprising ensuring they bring the latest fashionable and popular goods to the island for businesses like us.
You cannot visit a Greek island without eating fish. Our fish market has an amazing selection of fish on offer, always fresh, always beautifully presented. Our fish nights at Vassaliki have become a must try evening thanks to this company’s efforts to supply the best fresh fish on the island.
Two suppliers who I seem to visit every day are our veg market & butcher, luckily they are both situated only a short way from Vassaliki. We rely on the team at the fruit and veg market to give us fresh produce throughout the summer. This is no mean feat as working in the heat trying to keep the produce fresh is a constant battle. We hand pick all our own ingredients to make sure we get the very best for our guests.
The team at the meat market here run a very clean and efficient business. The meat is some of the best, I as a chef, has ever had the pleasure working with. Those of you who have had a fillet steak at the resort will agree I am sure.
Those of you who have visited Vassaliki will know we have a very small kitchen so making all the desserts and cakes is not always possible so we work alongside a young pastry chef and his father who make all our desserts. We have even introduced some english classics to their range, working with them to increases the range of products they sell.
If you have ever been to Vassaliki you would have most likely been to Marina’s Market in the local village. Marina and her family are so supportive of our business and not only do they offer our guests a market to purchase food and drink from but they collect our post, supply us our bread, deliver our welcome hampers and translate documents for us! All this as well as running a beautiful cafe and bar for us to drink at. They are our pillar of support.
Another regular to our resort is Christine our masseuse, she has been working with us now for several years and is a ray of sunshine when she arrives with her infectious laugh. She offers an amazing range of massage and beauty treatments to our guests
We do this business as a living, so we need to make money and Maria is our accountant in Kefalonia. Not only does she do all our books and submit all our accounts to the correct offices. She also makes sure we have all our licences and paperwork in order so we can run the resort and trust me there’s a lot of paperwork and blue stamps to collect!
So how does having a naturist resort set up on a small island affect the local people? Of course we pay all our suppliers for their products and services, so this is how we support the local islanders. We have always tried to make sure we offer as much work to the locals and this summer our new team members Angeliki & Kerry are Kefalonia based.
So having a naturist resort in the local area is always going to be a positive thing!