Cambridge Wine Merchants
International Wine Challenge, Wine Merchant of the Year 2012 : WINNERS!
also: Large Independent Merchant of the year UK, East of England Merchant of the year, Fortified Specialist Merchants of the Year UK
In short, to be the best wine retail chain in the country by combining the following factors:
- Super-rigorous totally independent buying - we only want the very best,
- First rate personal attention you would except from a quality independent,
- Range, value and deals you would expect from a multiple,
- Retail and service standards as good as the best in any field of retail, not just drinks
We're only as good as the last bottle we sold, so we buy with love, dedication, caution and flair. Always on the lookout for funky one-offs and proper wine made by real people.
Create the kind of environment where we all love to turn up to work in the morning. Which we do.
Love retail. We do web sales, we do wholesale, but we still love our shops.
Stay independent. Weve built our business by ploughing back all profit into the business, never taking on debt, so were not beholden to the bank or shareholders. And were not bound by agency or buying agreements. We buy and sell and do what we want, what our customers want, what we (and they) enjoy.
Stay pragmatic. Our brilliant business plan is not to have a fixed one. We constantly review everything we do and were as quick to drop duffers as to take on new ideas.
Stay diverse. With a large proportion of foreign-born staff from all backgrounds and spanning all ages, were not the typical stuffy wine merchant and we dont want to be.
Be democratic. OK we're not John Lewis, but each branch is run as a business. Bonuses are unlimited great ideas from the staff are forthcoming.
Put something back. We organize our own charity events - fun ones like dinners and tastings: the motto is good works, good times. We also support local community groups, do all we can to protect the environment, and work hard to be a responsible company in every way.
Educate. We aim to nurture sensible attitudes to drink by teaching of the civilizing power of decent drinks in consumed in good company.
Innovate. Franchises and Concessions, wine clubs, WSET school (abroad too), en-primeur, our own bottlings of malt whisky, book and guides and newspapers we never stop coming up with new ideas.
Involve suppliers. From winemaker visits and dinners to sophisticated supplier marketing support mechanisms we aim to be the best at bringing maker and drinker closer.
Have fun - life's too short not to. And we do.