We are thrilled to win the award. It means a lot to us all here, but we accept it humbly, knowing how much further we want to go and how much better we can be, both in wine selection and service. We thank you so much, as without you joining us on the Swig journey, supporting us through thick and thin, we wouldn’t be here.
It’s been such fun. It’s certainly been an adventure, starting with the shop in Belsize Park and delivering wine every night on my way home. Moving to a poky office on a dubious back street of Earl’s Court, we opened as a mail order business. The Atlas Pub next door was much nicer and we spent most of the time there. We held a wine tasting for restaurants and it was attended by only one customer. We abandoned the wholesale side for quite a few more years! Via a warehouse office in Chiswick, near some other nice riverside pubs, we’ve now moved into New Covent Garden Market in The Food Exchange, a snazzy building surrounded by buzzing young foodie start-ups. It's nowhere near pubs and for some reason we seem to be doing much better.
I especially thank my amazing colleagues here at Swig. We are a small team and we all manage to taste and participate in wine purchasing decisions, and importantly, we all do a lot of quality control ;-)
Damon has been with Swig since the shop days in Belsize Park. He told me he had a driving licence, but he actually hadn’t passed his test yet. His daughter was born a few weeks after he started and she’s now 22! Damon runs the restaurant wholesale side of things, which means he is mainly having lunch somewhere. If you have any recommendation of a restaurant where you think we might be a good fit, please let us know. We will definitely send you some wine as a thank you.
Hector has just completed the London marathon and a half marathon in Edinburgh two weeks before, after dining at the Palmerston the night before, an excellent restaurant we supply and worth a detour. He came straight out of Durham Uni to Swig four years ago. In his first week we almost finished him off drinking wines until 4am in the morning. But he came back for more. Hector has visited our producers in South Africa, and done a vintage at Mas de Daumas Gassac in the South of France, and has been on buying trips with me.
Imogen has been with us for 6 years, with a gap when she left a few years ago to do a vintage and season making wine in the Swartland. We were so delighted when she wanted to come back before Christmas last year. She has a deep knowledge of wine and sourced for us the wines of Alphabetical and Saurwein. She has also been on buying trips with us, and under her own steam, and knows our wines incredibly well. She is an amazing enthusiast.
Earlier this year, Kate and James, two lovely, experienced, wine merchants joined us. The idea is to have more time to make personal recommendations and respond to your individual requirements.
Kate lives near Bath and has worked for 20 years with two excellent merchants, specialising in fine wines. Kate fitted in immediately to our way of caring for customers.
James lives in Warminster. James also worked at a very good wine merchant, and prior to that lived in Australia for ten years working with a couple of wineries before returning to Wiltshire. He loves helping find the right wine for you.
There are other key people in the Swig team, who help keep it ticking and to them I am hugely grateful, and they also share in the spoils of being in the wine trade.
We want to keep getting better and hope you'll come along with us. Thank you!
From top left, clockwise: Robin, Damon, Hector, Kate, James, and Imogen.