Focus On: Novel Wines
Beginning as 8 pages of scribbled notes and a chance meeting at a wine tasting, Novel Wines has rapidly grown into a startup that's ready to take on the business world.
How It Started
"Working as a wine consultant in Bath -sourcing wines for pubs and bars, and helping to train staff- meant that the company I started had to be in something that wasn't restricted by timing. Retail seemed like the way to go," says Ben Franks, co-founder of the new independent online wine merchant. "The other thing I had to consider was our niche. Novel Wines is proud to be weird and wonderful, showcasing the best wines from places you may never have seen wine from before. You certainly won't find them in the supermarket!"
Ben's difficulty was lack of trade experience; although already established as a wine consultant and journalist, and therefore well qualified to select and market the wines, he needed someone with experience in importing and logistics.
"I met Gyorgy Zsiga at a wine tasting," Ben explains. "He already had his own business importing wines from Hungary, so he really knew his stuff."
Gyorgy was already dedicated to expanding the horizons of Britain's wine enthusiasts, intent on sharing the array of vintages from his home country's well established wine trade. Through Novel Wines, the pair have taken this further, focussing not only on wines from Hungary but England, Thialand, Croatia, Uruguay, South Africa and more.
Preparing to Launch
After founding the company in April, Novel Wines had a packed few months building the business, and preparing for their launch party on the 24th September, 2016. Taking place in the Hilton Hotel, Bath, Ben and Gyorgy will be opening 102 bottles of wine for guests; a straightforward way to introduce potential customers and investors to Novel Wines' Unique Selling Point.
"The MP is coming," says Ben, "and a selection of investors. Taste of Bath are doing the nibbles, and there'll be two small sessions for guests to try their hand at wine tasting!"
"We were both already based in Bath, and it has a great buzz around wine. The whole of the South West does, in fact. Vineyards are popping up all over the place."
Ben and Gyorgy are hoping to open a 'bricks and mortar' wine shop/tasting showroom in the city. "We want Bath to be our base, not London," Ben says. "Everyone's in London, so this sets us apart, and Bath's a real destination city. There's also a real takeup of interesting, unique ideas. It's a great place to be a young entrepreneur."