Let your party sparkle with Cava Licious


From the moment you unwrap black foil on the Cava Licious bottle, pop the cork and pour a glass of the sparkling wine, you won’t be able to help but feel glamorous. It’s no secret than Belgians enjoy a good celebration, and what better way to celebrate than with something that really sparkles?

For GoeleNickmans and MoniqueDehaese, the idea for the Cava Licious brand started after a few nights out with ‘the girls’. During a night out on the town, the group joked about being the “Cava Queens”, declaring their love for Cava wine. “It’s such a nice product,” Nickmans says. “But there are so few brands of Cava out there that really have that feeling of being glamorous, modern and new.” Underwhelmed with the Cava products available, the “Cava Queens” began to seriously consider taking on the challenge of developing their own Cava brand.

“We wanted to see if this joke had some potential,” Nickman says. “We thought ‘we can’t be the only people who think this is a good idea!’” In 2007, Nickmans and Dehaese began extensive research on Cava wines and travelled to a winery near Barcelona, Spain, to learn more about the product. Since Cava is only produced in Spain, the trip was an excellent way to sample a variety of flavours and evaluate the wines and begin negations with the producers.

After experimenting with a variety of flavours, Cava Licious settled on: Cava Licious Lounge (Cava Brut), Cava Licious Sweet (Cava Semi Seco) and Cava Licious Lolita (Cava Brut Rosado). The Cava Brut is a dry Cava with a scent of ripe melon, banana and green apple, which makes this the perfect cava for tapas, seafood or light meals. The Cava Semi Seco is for those with a bit of a sweet tooth and features the beautiful scent of apple and ripe peach; this Cava is perfect for dessert, ice cream or fresh fruit. Then, the Cava Brut Rosado is a cherry red colour and has a fresh strawberry and raspberry scent.

Once they had nailed down a variety of great tasting Cava, the next step was to create an interesting concept and beautiful packaging. At Cava Licious, luxury and solidarity go hand in hand. You will not find any corny products or packaging here; just a great tasting product combined with a trendy image and generous character.

The golden sparkles of Cava Licious are wrapped in an exclusive label designed by HOOKEDONWALLS, a high-end wallpaper brand known for its beautiful artistic appeal. “We contacted them because we knew that they are very trendy and target a younger audience,” Nickman says. “So we began collaborating with them and coming up with a specific concept and design and now it is our signature look!”

The floral label features the elegant hibiscus flower in a variety of metallic from pink to white and silver. Since designing a beautiful label with HOOKEDONWALLS, Nickmans jokes, “You can now have your living room in the same wallpaper as the Cava!”

With a delicious Cava and hip label complete, the search began for vendors at supermarkets and clubs across Belgium, and in 2010, Colruyt began selling Cava Licious in their supermarkets across Belgium. Of course, Cava Licious also believes in producing a glamorous product with a modest price tag, and the Cava Licious Lounge was named ‘Best bubbles priced less than 15 euros’ in the Wine Guide 2011 & 2012.

With the motto “B Glamorous. B Generous.,” Cava Licious has made a strong effort to maintain its glamorous image while striving for social responsibility. Through social media, Cava Licious has promoted its brand with “Sparkling Fridays” when fans can win a bottle of Cava Licious as well as a monthly contest in which fans have the chance to win the Party Box with 24 bottles of Cava Licious!

In addition to being generous to their fans, Cava Licious has also partnered with water.org, a non-profit organization in the United States, to donate a portion of their proceeds for clean drinking water in developing countries. “For every product we sell, we want to contribute something to a good cause,” Nickmans says. “So many people say to us ‘Oh, that’s a very smart move’, but for us, it was something that we always really wanted to do.” For Cava Licious, it is not about appearing to be humanitarians; the “Cava Queens” wanted to partner with a non-profit from the start.

GoeleNickmans and Monique Dehaese have come a long way since their jokes about creating their own Cava. Now with a successful line of Cavas, the laborious work it took to turn this dream into a reality has been a rewarding experience. “I really feel that it is worth it at this moment,” Nickmans says. “Now I am an entrepreneur and I have more time to spend with my family, and I’m doing what I love. Everyone has dreams, and so many people are unhappy with their jobs but never leave either for security or financial reasons.”

But a word of advice from the Cava Queen: take some time to think and evaluate your options. You do not have to give up your entire life and jump right into a new adventure. Evaluate the potential of your idea and work on it. “It takes time. You have to invest time and energy before you can get started. But life can be very flexible, if you allow it to be. For us, if we decide that it is not working out, we can do something else. Through this process, we have developed a strong social network and can always find a new adventure to begin.”

Life is too short to be unhappy with your work. And with the right idea, ambitious drive and support from your loved ones, you can embark on your own journey, having the most fun and rewarding experiences of your life. The “Cava Queens” did it, and so can you.