ZGR’s story begins in May 2011 with the Lavanda Blu Agriturismo. Founder Jonathan Zeiger was traveling to Europe, hoping to build new relationships and get a kick-start in his dream industry. Using the HelpExchange network, Jonathan connected with Hans Groot and Elizabetta Perkins, owners of Lavanda Blu. Traveling alone, having no knowledge of the country and unable to speak the language, Jonathan set out from Rome to find this enchanted land called Marche.
After waiting in the square of Cupra Marittima for what felt like hours (in reality more like 30 minutes), a rackety SUV pulled up. “Hello, I think you are looking for me!” said the tall Dutchman with dark grey hair and grey-blue eyes. Hans immediately gave a warm welcome, showing Jonathan the beautiful area that he called home. During his 2 week work exchange, Jonathan was introduced to Giacomo Centanni, the young local winemaker. Many families in the area purchase bulk wine from Giacomo, and it was time for Lavanda Blu to resupply. It was during this meeting that Giacomo came out and asked, “Vuoli vendire i miei vini negli Stati Uniti? - Would you like to sell my wines in the United States?”
“Absolutely!” replied Jonathan. Having been immersed and welcomed into this lively culture, Jonathan was immediately on board. Thus were the seeds of ZGR Imports planted. One year later, Jonathan returned to Marche, solidifying the friendships gained in the previous year and building new relationships for the foundation of ZGR.