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Running a wine bar

Interview with...

Simon Gordon
Age:
55
CV:
Accountant
Business name:
Gordon's Wine Bar
Goods/services:
Has an award winning wine list and also serves food 
Location:
47 Villiers Street, London
Trading for:
121 years (Gordon's is thought to be the oldest wine bar in London)

Simon Gordon on his relationship with suppliers...

"We've changed the suppliers around a bit but we stick to just a few suppliers who we really work well with and we trust and we all help each other out. That way we get really good prices.

"I got loads of people trying to sell us wine, I could go to wine tastings every day of my life, which I'd like. But I don't do that because when we actually sit down with them it's very hard for them to come up with better prices and better wine, so we have got a good selection."

I got loads of people trying to sell us wine, I could go to wine tastings every day of my life, which I'd like

On a new career direction...

"I got to the stage where I really wanted a change from corporate life, it was all paperwork and figures, I never actually produced anything real as an accountant. It was great fun, but very stressful and a lot of hard work."

"When my father died, we spoke as a family what to do, Gordon's belongs to my mother now but I said at the time I could run it. At first I thought there was nothing to do, I didn't realise how much actually needed doing."

On taking over the business...

"I started to get into it and it became a really full on job, but I've now got it to a stage where it's much easier. I've got managers who are really good and well trained, I've got good staff, and the whole thing runs itself now.

"But the whole expansion took ages, negotiating with the council and with the landlord and that sort of thing, and it was seriously scary at the time."

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