On 25th December 1992, Queen Elizabeth summed up her year, but in 1667 John Dryden published a poem that summed year after the Great Fire of London. The translation is the ‘year of miracles’ and what a year 2017 has been for us here at Organic Wine Club.
Over the course of this year, we have sold thousands of natural wines that are now being enjoyed by our members and customers. We have had dozens of new winemakers supply us with their inspirational artisanal produce. We are truly beyond grateful to everyone for their continuous support. As we are an ethical business focusing on fair trade conditions for the growers, producers, distributors and, finally, us as an organic wine retailer.
We are not going to say that it has always been peachy. As an emerging business we have stumbled from time to time, the weak pound has meant price increases throughout the year, a few issues and breakages with various delivery companies and of course tougher trading conditions on the High Street.
With 2017 coming to an end, we are on a very special high and it wouldn’t be right if we didn’t take enough time to say thank you to the other businesses that we have had the privilege of being able to work with, share ideas and collaborate with.
Looking at our High Street and local area, we need to say a special thank you to Mireya from MiaStradaLondon.com who has been a true friend on our local high street! We've got a lot of support from Richard Johnson and his tirelessly managed Facebook page about what's on in Worcester Park. The incredible girls at Inspired Collective have also given us a huge boost in imagination and determination. Lyndsay and Alex from SavetheHighStreet.org have also been a revelation. Their new organisation has allowed us to be in contact with a growing authority and knowledge has been a great source to help us grow our shop on a local High Street, which also led to an incredible conference. Thank you for stepping up and filling this huge void.
We have also been looking for other really inspiring ethical businesses to collaborate with, the teams at Thought, Naturally Good Food, Coombe Farm Organic, Plenish all share our values and beliefs in organic and sustainable living. It has been a great source of pride to be able to list ourselves next to such great names.
This year has seen us listed and featured in some great media: The Independent, first edition of the National Geographic Food magazine, The Telegraph, Surrey Life, The Lifestyle Library and more. After a lot of work, we were also selected to participate and list our organic and natural wines on the MasterChef Gift Card site. To be selected for this has been a particular honour for our customer service and truly artisanal quality wines.
It has been very helpful to gain reviews and attention from blogs and e-media such as IBlameTheWine.com, esubscriptionboxes.co.uk, London Unattached, Simplicity Lists, Kind Healthy Lifestyle and paleo-britain.co.uk. There is a lot more bloggers and vloggers we've been working with, a huge thank you to you too! They have shared our Green Code of sustainable wine business and helped us to make a petition for a proper wine labelling legislation in the UK.
There has been a huge amount of time dedicated to events and trying to get our brand into the word. The Festival of Wine organised by Tom Cannavan, Free from Events with Margarita and her great team, the Allergy Show at Kensington Olympia, Organic September organised by Soil Association. There also need to be a very special thank you sent out to Alana and Lisa MacFarlane at The Gut Stuff. Their boundless and infectious desire to help us improve our gut health has allowed us to participate at their supper club in both Edinburgh and London this year.
A very special highlight this year was being able to sponsor an event at the Victoria & Albert Museum. With a report commissioned to find ways to make the fashion industry more sustainable by the Ellen Macarthur Foundation and Stella MacCartney. To be able to play such a tiny part in the launch of this report, for an industry that has given me so much personally throughout life, has been truly humbling and inspiring.
Another special thank you goes out to Amanda Thomson, a founder of the Skinny brand, has given us a helping hand too.
We are thankful to Alan and his awesome team at Food for Thought for partnering with us with regards to organic and vegan wine retail – now our wines are available in their retail stores in Guildford and Kingston.
Dimitri: I would also like to thank my close friends for the support when it was difficult and sometimes depressing. I am grateful to have a loving dog who has been a loyal friend and always wanted to cuddle after a very long day in the office. Happy holidays and I hope everyone will have a relaxing time.
Alex: For what has seemed like a never-ending year that has brought so much personally difficulty, the joy and discovery of wine has made this year truly miraculous. To all our customers, I want to say thank you for supporting us, but mostly I want to say the biggest thank you to my business partner, source of knowledge and my best friend Dimitri.
Dario, Alex, Olivier, Fernando, Rebecca, Simon, you guys deserve a pat on the back too for your support with our young but growing wine business. Thank you!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!