‘There are those who have got drunk only once, but it has lasted them a lifetime.'
Here’s a blog piece that is difficult to write without getting emotional.
L’Atypique turned one on Sunday and to mark the occasion we had a small party with friends, customers, suppliers - actually they've all just become friends.
Starting this company in the summer of 2014 was a huge change for me (and because they've all thrown themselves at it with such love and support) for everyone I know too.
On the first day it was almost like a bad joke that had got out of hand as we loaded the car and unpacked the boxes at Brockley Market not knowing if we’d make a sale, if the cloudy prosecco might be a step too wild, if we really knew enough to do what we were trying to do.
Of course, the standard structure for a piece like this goes “…well, we shouldn’t have worried” but it frankly hasn’t been easy at all. We’ve had a ton of success and bags of highs (more on that later) but there are plenty of things we could have done better, shouldn't have done at all and didn’t know how to do properly. I feel incredibly lucky that at every difficult junction, we’ve found an expert, or a kind stranger, or a friend putting on a different hat to help us learn and grow and have the confidence to keep on with this bizarre and beautiful puzzle.
From a lover turned bookkeeper and hostage negotiator, new friends stumping up cash to buy a gazebo, old friends trying to get all our complicated words into coherent leaflets, humping boxes and staying up late painting walls it’s been great - a big change for us all and along the way there are also the the people we’ve met - the company is lucky enough to have a great team of people working with us, all madly believing in the simplest idea of good wine and good times, our colleagues at markets working hard to make their own things work but always generous and kind, suppliers in the UK, producers overseas, collaborators on projects big and small and, of course, customers. Some we see once, others have become good friends and are at the market week in supporting what we do with their cash, their passion and their obsessive interest in murky wines and crap jokes.
In our back catalogue of things tried you’ll find markets all across London, big birthdays and special parties, nights of karaoke and Russian canapés, prosecco boat (filed under ‘yes please’), a long stint at Wine Hut on the Southbank, a pop-up bar in a lawyers office and lots and lots of wine. Overall we’ve had a hoot and, frankly, it’s difficult to know where we’ll go next. The only thing that’s certain is everything moves and that wine makes things happen.
At the party on Sunday, I announced that from the end of June we will be undertaking perhaps our biggest challenge yet - a three month residency with Bootstrap Company in Dalston. We’re building a bar and hoping for the best. Once again, we’re making it up as we go along but 1,200 bottles of cloudy prosecco and a year later, we’ve the confidence, the friends and the gumption to believe it’s worth a punt.
Thanks so much to everyone involved for a brilliant first year. I’m really excited about the rest of it.