Chris Mitchell opened the Cork and Cask in Edinburgh earlier this month after identifying a gap in the market for an independent off licence that offered unusual and interesting wines and beers.
The 26 year-old, who managed to secure funding from the Prince’s Trust – a youth charity which helps get young people into business - chose the affluent Marchmont area of Edinburgh for his store.
“The traditional model of a wine shop is old and dusty, but I wanted to be more approachable and not daunting,” explained Mitchell. “The store will have tastings and samples to help take the complicated nature out of wine buying. Wine should be there to be enjoyed and I want to help educate people about this.”
As well as unusual wines, which will be displayed with supporting information sheets, the store also offers a wide range of beers, mainly from Scottish brewers.
“The Scottish beer scene is booming at the moment and I’m really pleased with the response so far to our selection of beers.”
The store also offers a take-away coffee and tea service, and he will distribute free hot drink vouchers on occasion to help draw new people into the store.
Mitchell hopes his business will help inspire other young entrepreneurs. “I would rather follow my dream and not succeed than not do it at all,” he said.
He advised others to work in their chosen industry first in order to learn the ropes.
“The Prince’s Trust funding helped me but you have to know your stuff in order to get their support,” he explained.