The indie now arriving at Brighton station

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Seven Cellars has opened a shop on the concourse at Brighton station.

The business is already well-established in the nearby Seven Dials area of the city and owner Louise Oliver is excited about this latest expansion.

“As soon as I opened six years ago, I was thinking about opening shop two, and it’s taken me quite a long time to find the perfect location,” Oliver explains.

“That tricky second shop – it’s such a burden because you get yourself a little business going, you get yourself established and you think, OK, it’s stable, I’m paying the bills – it’s working.

“Then you decide to take that leap to the second shop and the last thing you want is to jeopardise the business you have. But I’ve really worked at it, my team is absolutely fabulous, they work so hard and I couldn’t ask for more really, so I feel the timing is right.”

Seven Cellars’ original branch carries around 600 wines and 320 spirits as well as an impressive range of craft beers. Oliver says that selecting the products for the new shop was a real dilemma.

“We had to pare down the range because it is really small premises. We’ve got space for around 100 wines and 180 spirits because it is quite tall inside and we’ve had these wonderful library ladders designed,” she says. “At Seven Dials we display by region and country but in the new shop we have organised it by colour and price.”

Official figures estimate that 17.5 million commuters pass through Brighton station every year, and in addition there is regular tourist activity. Pride weekend, for example, guarantees an extra 15,000 people coming through the station every hour.

Oliver says that she thinks she is one of the first to benefit from the revised commercial thinking from Network Rail. “The guy responsible for putting businesses in stations has got an innovative approach concerning the south east,” she says. “They are changing their attitude towards small businesses and are saying that it would be lovely to have a flavour of the businesses of the towns in which the stations are in.”

The new shop will offer click-and-collect to allow commuters to order from work and pick up when they get to Brighton.

Oliver also thinks the location means there will be a lot of gifting. She adds: “I’ve had a few comments on Instagram with just the words ‘train beer!’, which I find quite funny. We will do a little bit of ready-to-drink, but not too much – probably the Brighton Gin & Tonic in cans, and we might expand our range of half sizes.”

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