A high-quality service, extensive knowledge of one’s industry, a passion for sustainability and reasonable pricing will stand every business in good stead. It’s precisely what Honest Grapes have found as they can now officially consider themselves the ‘Outstanding Wine Retailer of the Year’.
This month has played host to one celebration after another for the online merchant and wine club Honest Grapes. September 2020 saw them celebrating their sixth birthday and in addition to this at the recent Decanter Retailer Awards they picked up the title of ‘Outstanding Wine Retailer of the Year’ along with the award for ‘Best Subscription Wine Club’.
For many businesses, that would be more than enough to celebrate in a single month, but it didn’t stop there. Honest Grapes has a strong stance when it comes to sustainability and this too was acknowledged with the runners-up spot in the ‘Green Champion category’ at the awards.
The Chairman of the Awards and TV Wine Presenter, Peter Richards MW, said; “It’s great to be able to recognise and celebrate a relatively new and dynamic force in the world of UK wine retailing. Honest Grapes delivers not only excellent wine but also a sense of community, personality, buzz and excitement.
They are innovative and imaginative without losing sight of what makes a great wine merchant: excellent service, proactive engagement with customers, good value, and brilliant wines. What’s more, they are an industry leader in their sustainability initiatives.”
About Honest Grapes
Honest Grapes was launched in 2014 by wine consultant Tom Harrow and prolific tech investor Nathan Hill. They offer a curated list of sustainable artisan wines and where they differ from most of their competition, they do it with very reasonable prices. Known for their fun regular tastings, they pioneered the move to online events in March offering unique and exclusive wine production projects to their club members.
The impact from the events in 2020
You know a business is heading in the right direction when they can announce an increase in sales of 60% in the past twelve months and a 170% jump between March and June. This has meant they’ve shot up from 80 new customers per month to an incredible 400+ per month. 2020 also marked their second profit, up by 470% compared to the previous year, all while hiring six new employees, maintaining service continuity and investing to help reduce their environmental impact.
Co-founder Tom Harrow said, “These are challenging times, we are delighted we’ve been able to continue to grow, and it’s great the team’s efforts have been recognised with a number of awards.”
Nathan Hill added “We were surprised and delighted to receive this award. It is a tribute to the loyalty of our club members; the ‘can-do’ flexibility of our team and the thrilling wines offered by our lovely producers.”
It’s not only the Decanter Retailer Awards who’ve recognised the sterling work by Honest Grapes. In recent years, the company has also picked up a trolley-full of other leading awards.
These include the Independent’s IndyBest Online Wine Shop in 2020 for the third year, the Drinks Business’ Green Retailer Award 2018 and runner-up in 2019 for their environmental engagement, and was shortlisted for the 2020 London Wine Fair’s Online Specialist Buyer Award. And on top of this, they’ve just been shortlisted in the Online Retailer of the Year category for the 2020 Drinks Business Awards.
This year has been extremely tough for many businesses, but what Honest Grapes has shown is by adapting to the current climate, you can still prosper and reach even greater heights. This is a rare good news story among a raft of negative headlines. Well done to Tom, Nathan and the team, we hope they continue to prosper and we doff our caps to them.
For more information on Honest Grapes, visit their website www.honestgrapes.co.uk.
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