Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Me Old Mucca!

This morning I got a strange letter from one of our suppliers informing me that our trade rep - Noel was leaving the company effective tomorrow. It all seemed a bit strangely worded and it made we wonder a bit what was happening. Turns out hes being made redundant. I'll miss Noel, and wish him every success in whatever he turns his hand to when the festival season is over. I dont doubt that I will see him again in whatever capacity he ends up, and Im sure we will keep in touch through facebook!!

The strange thing about the whole affair is the way it seems to have been done. The company in question seems to be surviving the current financial state of affairs reasonable well. They have quite a strong portfolio of popular wines at the right price points. They have even managed to poach a MW from another company to join their board and buying team. So why have they laid off their sales team for the north of england. They dont have anyone covering from Scotland down to London. Now while I can accept that they probably dont have as much business in this part of the country as they do in London, surely the last thing you ought to do in a recession is lay off the folks who are knocking on doors drumming up your business. While times are hard, we may not be buying as much, but we are careful in what we buy. Getting a call from these guys alerting us to bin-ends, good deals on lower priced wines and highlighting some great deals that can be had will endear them to us more. Then when the good times come back, we will give our loyalty more so to those who kept in touch. We repay the faith. By getting rid of these guys, you risk losing the business through a lack of attention.

Well I understand from Noel that he plans to visit Peru and visit Macchu Picchu and follow the inca trail. Good luck buddy and keep in touch.

Support your sommelier.

Imbibe magazine, the trade arm of Square Meal magazine, are holding a competition to recognise the talents of the sommeliers in this country. I ask you to do your bit to help support our role and vote for your favourite sommelier. It doesnt have to be me, although if you would like to use one of your votes for me that would be gratefully recieved!! Ive used mine to recognise some of the UK finest sommeliers - Laura Rhys- winner of this years Academy of Food and Wine Service Sommelier of the Year competition, Franck Gerome of Sharrow Bay - a jolly decent guy and very modest and my old pal Remi Fischer from Gleneagles. I urge you to use your three votes and promote the wealth of talent that is out there, encourage them and make them feel appreciated.

Link is https://squaremeal.wufoo.com/forms/taste-sommelier-award-sponsored-by-imbibe/