Eraj Shakib is a creative and compassionate entrepreneur, motivated by his passion to realize business models based on humane and compassionate ethics!His business outlook was not always inspired thus. Persian born and raised in Great Brittain and USA, Eraj worked in a rather passion-less Marketing & Sales job in the computer industry in Silicon Valley, California. Then one day, he met his wife to be, Vivi, and suddenly took the leap of faith to follow her to her homeland in Greece, joining the dream: to discover a quiet spot in a nature and build a retreat where people would come to revive themselves through rebuilding their relationship with nature and other beings. Yoga, meditation, and a vegetarian diet would be key ingredients in the mix.
Arriving in Greece in 2004, their first dream went on the back burner as Vivi and Eraj first opened NYSY Academy for Yoga and Pilates, and Avocado Vegetarian Café—two bright centers in the heart of Athens fostering community and a compassionate/healthy lifestyle.
Eraj is the heart and mastermind behind Avocado. A deeply sensitive and passionate man, Eraj also likes to stay active and create new ventures with other people. Becoming a vegetarian himself in Greece, Eraj wanted to share with people the significance of eating really delicious food without sacrificing animals. His Avocado Vegetarian Café was an immediate hit, even though he dared to open it amidst the worst economic crisis in Greece, in June 2011. The restaurant has become a favorite among international tourists and locals alike, garnering top reviews and International awards, but most importantly, it is a warm and hospitable establishment operated by a team of stellar, friendly, bright and earnest people. Team spirit, the philosophy of giving our best to our work and others, inspired by true care for the EARTH and all beings, have been the foundational success Keys for Avocado. Eraj’s high ethics and full-heartedness is reflected in each and every one of the 25-member team of Avocado employees. A tiny restaurant, operating in complete adherence with laws and taxes and making it in today’s tough economic conditions in Greece, is no small miracle.
This new model of doing business based on Upright Ethics, Compassion, and Inter-dependence is the message that Eraj and Vivi would like to share with the world. They want to inspire especially young people to do the same and devote themselves to doing work they love and to giving their best effort to everything they do. Young People are the hope of this planet. Through positive attitude our Youth will surely make a difference, and will live to see THEIR DREAMS COME TRUE.
In the summer of 2017, Vivi and Eraj enjoyed the thrill of seeing their life long dream realized, at least the first phase of it. They opened the doors to Zen Rocks Retreat, a stunningly beautiful retreat center in Mani/Southern Greece, dedicated to re-building human potential through the healing practices of Zen, Yoga, Meditation, Pilates, Exercise, meaningful nutrition, and restorative living.
With a full roster of retreats slated to unfold in the summer of 2018, from May to Fall, Eraj is ready to play the role he plays best: Being the most gracious host to all guests. Vivi likes to call him, “A Persian Prince”, and that he is in the full sense of the word. Have you even been waited upon by a true Persian Prince?
In his mid-fifties, Eraj likes to stay active playing football like a teenager, doing sea ski sports, and also playing golf with his buddies. Traveling is one of his favorite past-times, his most favorite being hanging out with his pets, friends, and family in Mani.