One of the main reasons we started this blog, was to talk about our journey on discovering wine via the founding of our own business: The Winecurious wineshop! This topic has not been that much in the spotlights yet, as I got carried away with tasting and reviewing. Wines and restaurants are a part of my weekly hobbies, so I guess it was very easy to start talking about that. But the idea of this blog is also for you to follow what is going on behind the scenes in a start-up wine-business, so I will now take the opportunity to write about that.
Let’s start from the beginning!
We started our company in Denmark, a country foreign to both of us, but with a reputation for being very straightforward for running a small business. Why not Finland or Sweden? One word: state-monopoly. So Denmark was the closest to the culture we are used to that has a free market. Not as easy as was advertised though. Registration papers were all in Danish, electronic identification only for Danish residents, and the tax authority’s phone lines only open from 9am to 2pm on weekdays (wtf). So we had to do it the old fashioned way, filling in paper forms and posting them by snail-mail, and calling afterwards to check if they had been received. It all worked out though, with the help of Invest in Denmark and a local accountant, we made it happen; and about a month ago, we received our registration number. That moment was intensely celebrated with bubbly.
But that was just the first step. Next in line was to register for a VAT numbers (Danish and foreign), distant sales licenses, and to sign contracts for warehousing and logistics. We both work in procurement (buying of things), so making these kinds of contracts is every day business for us. However, it is a completely different thing negotiating as a start-up company than behind the business card or a larger corporation. The key was to find the right size of a partner, someone who was interested to listen to your plans of growth and to give you a chance as a customer. Someone who also understands that the tables might turn someday =). So with some patience from us and our suppliers, contracts were signed and VAT numbers received. The great thing about family vineyard is that you are discussing with fellow entrepreneurs, who understand the obstacles that one has when starting a business.
And now our first wines are ready to be loaded on a truck to take them from Spain to Denmark. After months of paper-hell, our beloved Llagrima d’Or and Peret Fuster Cavas are finally ready to be dispatched. We hope to have them available for home delivery before Christmas and New Year, but we still need to wait for a distant sales license to our primary focus market, Sweden. Let’s see if the Swedish tax-Santa grants us our wish and handles the registration on time. If not, well, then we just suck it up and wait for the January “detox” to pass.
Perhaps a bit off topic, but someone who has started reading the blog from the beginning might be by now wondering why on earth am I reviewing and complementing products that compete with the ones we will be selling. The answer is very simple: I also love other wines, and want to complement quality. I appreciate a large selection, and believe, that the more people know about quality wines and the options on the market, the more there will be interest in the topic in general. So I am aiming to stimulate the overall interest in wine (especially cava) and food, not only focus on my wines. This is why I went to business in the first place, to widen the selection.