Vino rises from the ashes

11 June, 2010

A former First Quench trainee area manager has set up a chain of wine merchants in Edinburgh with the name Vino.

Andrew Lundy has bought the leases to two former Wine Rack branches in the city and plans to open a third soon, all staffed by former colleagues at the collapsed chain.

“We all worked for the company before so we knew which shops were the good ones to go for and we took the plunge and did it,” he said.

“The shops are looking fantastic. Wine Rack wasn’t even in Scotland two years ago and when the brand was launched a significant amount of money was spent. The shops have new equipment and shelving and we haven’t needed builders. We’ve done most of the internal work ourselves and only needed contractors for the signage.”?The shops, in Broughton Street and Grange Loan, will be joined by a third in Comiston Road. The eight staff include the original managers of the stores, who have been given freedom to help source a range of premium wines, as well as Scottish beers, spirits – and even a cider.

The process of acquiring the leases has been “drawn out”, according to Lundy, and wages have been paid to staff throughout the period.

“It’s such a thrill to be able to get back to what we do with the guys we used to do it with,” he said. “We had a great community among First Quench staff. It’s great to see people with natural flair given the chance again to do what they do well.”?Lundy said the fledgling chain would continue to look for expansion opportunities within the former First Quench estate and elsewhere, including shops beyond Edinburgh.

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All across England and Wales, vineyards are being harvested. Down winding country lanes come armies of welly-wearing conscripts wielding secateurs and buckets, ready to reap the rewards of our vines. Happily they come, their cheeks ruddy with pride. Half an hour later they’re crawling over muddy clods with lacerated hands, drenched in claggy juice and cold sweat, as if ploughing through an endurance race.

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