A little shop with big ideas

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Walton near Felixstowe in Suffolk is now home to The Little Wine Bar.

Deborah Mcglynn-Hale says her shop and bar may be “very tiny”, but that’s not stopping her from having a big selection.

“We’ve got room for hundreds of wines,” she says, “providing I only have a couple of bottles of each.”

She says 98% of her wines are vegan. “Sustainability is really important to us, especially as wine has such a huge carbon footprint. We are doing our best to offload that,” Mcglynn-Hale explains. Her business is plastic-free and carbon neutral.

Previously Mcglynn-Hale worked for John Greenwold at Wine Boutique in Felixstowe, and most of her stock is sourced from Winefantastic, Greenwold’s wholesale company.

“I know his wines and I trust them. It’s good having things on my shelves that I can be passionate about,” she says.

The Little Wine Bar has been open for just over a month and Mcglynn-Hale says that, while it’s pretty much all drinking-in at the moment, she’s expecting the retail element to grow.

“Where we are situated isn’t a real retail place and I’m hoping with time that will change, but I don’t expect people to walk in and trust me immediately,” she says.

“People need to try the wines and make sure they are happy with them before they commit to buying, and you can’t develop a trusting clientele overnight.

“We do have people walk in and buy wine and there is conversion of people having a drink in and thinking, ‘wow, that’s lovely, I’m definitely taking that home with me’ – and I really want people to have that experience.

“It’s important they get to try things that they might never have touched before.”

She adds: “It’s been overwhelming how positive people have been about it. People have been coming in at two in the afternoon, when I expect the bar to be empty, and saying, ‘I’m just coming in for one drink now, because it’s so important to us that you stay here’.”

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