Mark Andrew and Dan Keeling continue to grow their business with the launch of their first shop, situated close to Noble Rot restaurant, in Lamb’s Conduit Street in Bloomsbury, central London.
With its logo designed by Noble Rot magazine’s regular collaborator, Jose Miguel Mendez, Shrine to the Vine is instantly recognisable as part of the brand.
Andrew, who worked for Roberson for several years, says that both he and Keeling both “cut their teeth in retail,” so this development was perhaps inevitable.
“We had always said if the opportunity presented itself and the circumstances were right it would be something we’d love to do,” explains Andrew. “With our import company [Keeling Andrew] being in play for three or four years, we’ve got a lot of wine. And not just the wines we import, but from distributors including Les Caves de Pyrene, Tutto and Flint.
“Because of the lockdown and restaurants being closed, we had this stockholding that wasn’t moving through as quickly as it normally would and that maybe accelerated the idea of us turning our attention to this plan to do something in the retail sphere.
“We had looked at other areas and other sites but then an opportunity came up on Lamb’s Conduit Street, which is probably our favourite street in London.”
Callum Edge, previously of Taurus Wines, has joined the team as the digital manager.
“We’re very excited about that part of the business because it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the world is continuing to go with buying things online,” says Andrew.
“It’s a great way to be able to communicate with customers and not just focus on a local audience but increase that reach nationwide.”
So is Shrine to the Vine just the first of more shops to come from the pair?
“Well, we’re ambitious,” Andrew admits, “and we love the print and the restaurant industries and we’re excited to pursue projects we think are worthwhile.
“Through the restaurants and the magazine, we have a really great community of open-minded drinkers, people who want to discover new things and people who are intrigued by the best wines in the world.
“For now we’ve got a lovely premises and we’re building the online presence. We’re really excited about all of those things and we’ll see where it takes us.”