Two old school friends have come together to acquire a prominent wine retailer.
Rob Weatherhead and Ben Boothman from Rochdale have completed the purchase of Affordable Wine, and are hoping to combine their respective business experience to grow the firm “significantly”.
Mr Boothman is owner of The Lancashire Hospitality Co-operation which owns the Flying Horse Hotel, The Baum and various other venues across Rochdale. He was also Rochdale Business Person of the Year 2019.
Mr Weatherhead, who now lives in Bolton, is a consultant who works with large global businesses to help them increase their online sales.
The pair said the acquisition was eight months in the making, and came about “in part by chance”.
Mr Weatherhead said: “I was working over the Christmas period and things were pretty quiet. So I started looking into apply what I do for other people to my own business.
“I didn’t want to start something completely new so began exploring websites and businesses up for sale. I came across Affordable Wine and it looked interesting so I made a few enquiries.
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“Then whilst that was happening Ben rang me out of the blue. I hadn’t spoken to him properly for six months at least, but I happened to mention the wine business and things developed from there.
“Had he not called, it probably wouldn’t have happened as it needs both our expertise to make it work.”
The main asset is the website, which they said will allow the firm to sell to individuals and businesses across the country.
The pair plan to bolster sales with trade customers more local to home where connections are either already in place, or will be built through marketing activity.
The firm now has plans to expand the range into more spirits and speciality alcohol.
Mr Weatherhead added: “We can’t compete on price with the supermarkets, but if we can supply wines which aren’t readily available but are of a high quality and reasonably priced, we are confident we can keep people coming back.”