Indie Oxford Interview: Grape Minds
Today on the blog we chat to Graeme from Grape Minds in Summertown, who has just celebrated their 1st anniversary in the shop! We talk wine (obvs), community and Christmas tipples! >>
Tell me about Grape Minds.
We are an independent bottle shop based in South Parade Summertown. We decided to set up on our own business having worked together in the drinks industry and sharing our passion for wine. We have 400 wines, ranging from £7 to £700, and we are incredibly proud of our range. We set the shop up as we felt there was a gap in the market for a specialist wine merchant in North Oxford, offering great wines and personal advice. A year in, and we are thrilled with how it is going!
What did you do before setting up the business?
Before we set up the business we both worked for Majestic Wine in Summertown. It was the knowledge we gained there of the local area that gave us the confidence to set up Grape Minds.
What is the shop best known for?
Aside from the amazing wines, and us of course, we are probably best known for our tastings. We love hosting them and at this time of year are doing as many as 5 a week. They offer superb value for money and are a great way to meet like minded wine drinkers, taste some incredible wines and have a great night in the process.
What are your top tips for Christmas drinks this year?
Well its a time to celebrate so go for it! Come in and ask us. Let us know what you drink day to day, and we’ll share the very best recommendation we have for your Christmas budget. You wouldn’t hesitate at spending £20 on a bottle of wine in a restaurant, so give us the same budget and see if we can’t find you the best Christmas Day wine you have ever had!
How important is the local community to your business?
Vital! 90% of our trade is within 2 miles of where we are, and we wouldn’t be here today without the wonderful support from our local community. It was overwhelming on our 1st anniversary weekend to see so many people wishing us a Happy Birthday – we both got a little emotional! Every bottle we sell and piece of advice we give is genuine, heart felt and really matters, so it is so warming to receive everyone’s wishes.
Tell us about your plans for 2020.
Well, there’s lots planned, some secret and some not so secret. First, a holiday for us both (not together!) Then we want to relaunch our website, do some wholesaling, and continue to improve here in store. We certainly won’t be taking our foot off the gas.
Lastly, which are your favourite independent businesses in Oxford?
Well for starters, the ladies across the road in Vanilla – they are wonderful. Full of energy and laughs, plus were so welcoming to us in South Parade. And there is Pompette. Laura, Pascal and Matt have been with us every step of the way (they opened just before we did), and it’s wonderful to both be on South Parade. And my latest favoutite, Happy Cakes in Summertown. Julia makes the most wonderful cupcakes. Thanks Indie Oxford for the connection!
So if you’re looking for the best Christmas wine you have ever had, head to Grape Minds on South Parade. Graeme & Michael can help you find the perfect pre lunch fizz, wine to match the Christmas feast, or port to pair with cheese.
Open daily from 10 am.
Have a very Merry Christmas!