One year as a Vegan Wine Merchant

Today marks our first anniversary of Vegan Wine Box, the online vegan wine merchants. How shall we celebrate? With a nice glass of wine of course!!

On the 12th March 2019, our website finally went live after several months’ hard work. We were finally a vegan wine merchant. It has been an exciting (and often tiring journey) since then.

Some Highlights

Our first order

Our first highlight has to be when an intrepid wine lover found our website and placed an order. Up until that point, we’d only had orders from friends and family. We are really pleased to say they are now a regular customer and will always be one of our favourites!

Events

We spent 120 hours over the course of 2019 at various events (mostly vegan) speaking to people about what we do, giving out samples and selling wine. It was hard graft but also a lot of fun and we made a lot of friends with other traders. As an added bonus, we also got to discover and eat lots of amazing vegan food around the country and buy lots of goodies.

We did Abergavenny Food Festival, which was… massive! We have been going to the festival ourselves on and off over the last 10 years, so it was a real pleasure to be able to trade there. The two days were a real contrast; the Saturday was incredibly hot and sunny (so much so, that a bottle of Sparkling exploded in the heat!) and the Sunday was incredibly wet.

We held our first Cheese and Wine Tasting night one cold night in January. It was a collaboration with Eat Your Greens and Food by Sumear. It went very well and we got lots of positive feedback. You can read an independent review of it here. We’re planning on doing another one in April, details coming soon….

Learning curve

We have tried over 550 different wines in pursuit of the very best for our website. It’s been hard work, but we do it for you.

Over the course of the last year, we have sat in the classroom for 61 hours of wine school and have undertaken many many more hours of study on top of that. It has strengthened our love of wine and understanding of everything wine related, but has also shown us that you never stop learning about wine. We are currently waiting (not so) patiently for our WSET Level 3 Award in Wines results.

Selling wine

We started wholesaling towards the end of last year. We now work with several cafes across Bristol (Cafe Matariki, Eden Café Clifton and Eat Your Greens) and Hank’s Vegan Pub in Ipswich.

We have sold over 3,000 bottles of wine. Each one picked and packed by us!

After our first year, we think we’re finally bona fide vegan wine merchants!

What’s next?

We have been busy talking to new suppliers so we can increase our range of vegan wines in the coming months.

In addition to our monthly slot at the Tobacco Factory Market, we’re going to be popping up at the Exeter vegan market for the first time over the summer. And we’re also doing some other vegan fairs including Witney in April and Abergavenny in May.

We’re meant to be off on our first wine buying trip abroad in April. Unfortunately we’re going to Piedmont, Italy which is currently on lock down because of the coronavirus. So we’re not sure we will make it at this time.