The only boutique off-licence experience in the South East of England
Our shop in the heart of Sevenoaks, Kent stocks over a thousand varieties of beers and spirits, sourced from the finest independent brewers and distillers around the UK and abroad, and chosen by our team of enthusiasts and connoisseurs just like you
Here are some pictures showing views of our recently refurbished shop floor. We have a large portion of our catalogue on display for immediate purchase, but also have a vast variety of stock that is stored in the stock rooms and warehouse. Please ask in store if you don't find what you are looking for!
Director and operations manager
Retiring early from a successful career in banking and finance, with a passion for beer, Sam decided to follow his dream of setting up his own shop
Supply partnerships and merchandise
A former supply chain executive, he escaped to pursue a much simpler life as a barman at his favourite club, which made him an expert in liquors and cocktails
Business marketing and promotions
Having worked as a freelance journalist and columnist for popular food and drink publications, she travelled the world searching for undiscovered treasures in wines
Customer service and accounts supervisor
Using her head for numbers in accounting for small businesses, she developed her own strategies for managing the bottom line and being the voice of reason in meetings
Sam always knew he wanted to escape the cut throat world of banking and finance eventually, and the financial crisis of the late naughties gave him the push he needed. Having wisely built up the capital to invest and the experience in managing business matters for clients, he persuaded his long time golfing buddy and best man to partner with him. Bob brought the much needed knowledge of logistics and contacts in industry to realise the vision. They imagined a boutique liquor store similar to what they had only ever seen abroad on holiday at posh destinations, but for ordinary people at ordinary prices. Was that even possible? There was only one way to find out, and Independent Spirit was born.
After a shaky start during the early years of austerity, the shop broke even and began to enter profitability. However, it needed to grow beyond the convenience of a local off-licence to really compete with the expanding range at major supermarkets. At a chance meeting at The Craft Festival in Singapore, Bob met fellow compatriot Ros, and told her all about their fledgeling enterprise during a taster event. Hoping only that she might be interested in writing about them for some publicity, he was pleasantly surprised to hear she was looking to get out of writing, and wanted in to selling. Her talents for exposing the smallest of producers to the world stage and turning taking their fortunes to the next level was an opportunity not to be missed. She had only one condition, that they eventually expand to include a range of wines!
A year later, the new partner’s work was bearing fruit as the shop was becoming more popular with visitors from much farther afield. Plans to renovate the neglected basement were laid down, but the revenue still wasn’t really able justify a major expansion. Instead taking on debt, Ros reached out to her former world and garnered interest from budding venture capitalist Kay, while she was still working at her firm. Kay also knew how to make every penny stretch further and keep our feet firmly on the ground. She took over the role of finding the happy medium after hearing all the ideas and making it add up at every step. Things worked out so well that she decided to leave her firm and become a full partner in Independent Spirit!
With all hands on deck over the last couple of years, we have some exciting new things to add to our line up very soon, so check out the latest news to find out more. We believe there is always more to do and room to improve, and maybe you can tell us how?
Wine cellar expansion completing in 2021
It’s been a work in progress for so long we are sure you wondered if it would ever get done! As some of you may have read in our last update, there we huge problems with damp and mould in the old building, made worse because the old tenant never used it, so it was not reported it for years! We negotiated a fair deal with the landlord for the remedial work, but it was still going to cost us more than we had budgeted for even after factoring in the year long delay. We decided not to rush things, but instead do the job right.
This expansion was Ros’ brainchild and by autumn next year we look forward to having the grand opening, introducing a huge new range of wines to our portfolio of beers and spirits. We are sure you will agree it has been worth the wait. It will also be in no small part to our many regular customers that have kept us busy and we would like to thank you all for your support and loyalty! It’s been our pleasure to serve you and strive to bring you the best choices and discounts, and we look forward to doing that even more with the new wine cellar!
Plans to provide a bulk delivery service
Many of you have asked for it and the results of the survey we undertook to get an idea of the demand are finally in. A staggering 78% of our individual customers said you’d make use of it for parties, and and astonishing 91% or our business and corporate customers have said they would use it for their events! While we can’t say for sure when it’ll happen, we can say it’s officially in the works as a result of your lobbying. Bob and Ros are on the case looking for suitable partners for the logistical side, and Sam and Kay are looking at the technical issues of stepping up our existing special orders handling. As always, we’ll keep you all posted right here, so stay tuned!