Nostalgic Reflections: The Late 1990s

Nostalgic Reflections: The Late 1990s

The late 1990s was a special era in the caviar trade, evoking a sense of nostalgia and significance in my heart.

At a young age,  I was introduced to the enchanting world of caviar by my father, who owned a renowned shop in London. Since the late 1970s, his establishment had been a pillar in the industry, celebrated for its exceptional caviar offerings. During this time, the caviar trade was primarily controlled by Russian distributors, who sourced their prized delicacy from the esteemed Astrakhan region in the Caspian Sea. This region was renowned for producing the finest quality caviar.

In a time before the widespread use of email, initiating business discussions relied on overseas landline calls. I vividly remember one particular phone call that began with the words, "Hello, we have the best caviar for you. Would you like to see?" This led to a planned meeting in London three days later. My father said, "Okay son, you will go."

The rendezvous took place in a mysterious shop, where a massive refrigerator lay horizontally in the basement. As the refrigerator door swung open, a mesmerizing sight unfolded before my eyes - meticulously arranged rows of caviar tins... hundreds of them. The hosts encouraged me to explore any tin, and I eagerly obliged, discovering caviar of unparalleled quality. They then inquired about the desired quantity, asking, "How many kilograms do you require?"

During that era, this was the prevailing method through which all caviar entered Europe, regardless of the size of the business, whether it was a small shop or a prominent department store. Since then, much has evolved, and the process has undoubtedly become more streamlined. However, the essence of that era, characterised by anticipation and intrigue, remains unparalleled.


My father, Reza in 1990s

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