Who are Vintage Roots?
In the beginningOur roots extend back to 1986 when we started our business with the help of 'The Enterprise Allowance Scheme', which gave budding young entrepreneurs the chance of receiving £40 a week (the equivalent of state benefit at the time) for a year, to help launch new businesses!
Working from our front room in a terraced house in east Reading with no experience and an empty order book, meant that the early years (about eight!) were very tough and financially very unexciting! However we stuck to our beliefs that organic wines were the way forward and continued to be inspired by the quality-oriented, passionate growers we met and other committed people in the organic industry.
Vintage Roots today
Our values, our energy and our passion for good wine and for organic produce remain as strong as ever.
These days, however, the team has grown somewhat to cope with your demand and our list consists of some four hundred organic wines, dozens of beers along with numerous organic ciders, spirits, liqueurs, juices and even chocolate (well how could we resist?). We moved recently to a farm near Heckfield with an organic shop out front (do come and visit!) with more warehouse space to allow us to do what we do best and where the curious cows look in through the window at our busy office – beats corporate life!
We are thrilled to have won numerous awards over the years including Green Retailer of the Year at the Drinks Business Green Awards 2015 and the Decanter accolade for Best Specialist Independent Wine Merchant back in 2008– testament to your faith in us and our continued hard work (pic of Neil & Lance in tuxes collecting award) sourcing great organic wines and other drinks (do try the chocolate too!).
Our organic credentials and our ethical beliefs
It's also very important to us that every product is accompanied by appropriate organic certification. In this way you can be absolutely confident that anything you buy from us meets the necessary legal requirement to be called 'organic'. All Vintage Roots products are certified as Organic to the standards of the UK's Organic Food Federation http://www.orgfoodfed.com/
The environment, how we trade and who we trade with are all very important to us. Have a look at how we conduct our business here.
About UsThe original founders and directors of the business are Neil Palmer and Lance Pigott. They both work in the business still, on a day to day basis.
The business is a lot bigger than it was of course, and now includes a team of fifteen and more. Many of us still have to multi task and apart from all the buying, marketing, finance, office and customer service roles, we have warehouse (we pick and pack all our own orders), drivers and a hard working sales team too.
Neil on Vintage Roots...
"29 years on, and I still get a huge buzz out of running Vintage Roots, there’s never a dull moment and I’m hugely proud of what we’ve achieved and where we are heading. I also don’t have to preach the benefits of ‘organic’ any more as I did with evangelical zeal in the old days (I guess I must have bored the pants off folk at parties!). People know what organic wine is all about nowadays; I’ve now got the confidence just to say 'taste that'…" My 1st big break: "Dad showing me how to use the corkscrew!"
Lance on Vintage Roots...
My 1st big break: "Either selling our first van load of 60 cases in the first 2 months of business - way beyond what we expected - or possibly selling about 2,000 cases of a red called Albaric (VPD du Gard) into Peter Dominics as it then was, in the late 80's.... it was a BIG deal way back then!"
Thank you for choosing us - we aim to repay your faith in us in full by offering you the best organic wines we can find for money, a value-driven business you can feel comfortable with and an attentive, personalised service to help you whenever you need it. We also welcome any feedback, so do call us on our freephone number 0800 980 4992 or contact us with any comments. Best wishes,
Neil & Lance, Directors