Foodpreneur Highlight #2: Florian Bourgeois from Wiine.me
Bonne année, FoodHackers and welcome to our Foodpreneur Highlight serie, where we interview Swiss food startups that we love.
For this edition, we have Florian Bourgeois, key account manager at Wiine.me and a supporter of FoodHack since the early days (i.e. keeping our participants tipsy and happy!). Just before we left for the New Years we hosted a FoodHack meetup with Florian as our guest speaker and jumped on this occasion to ask him the best tips to start a wine business...
Name: Wiine.me (www.wiine.me)
Location: Geneva, Switzerland
Founding year: 2013
Pitch: Monthly subscription of hand picked wines, delivered directly to your door and selected by expert sommeliers.
1. First of all, what is Wiine.me ?
Wine me is a concept that initiates people to wine tasting. We propose a flexible service to people who want to know more about wine and learn at their own pace. The system works by subscription, each month you receive 3 bottles of wine directly at home with the story about each. There is no commitment, meaning you can subscribe for a month or more.
More than discovery and tasting, Wiine.me is also very active in the training field. We created the Switzerland Wine School for the professionals and passionate who want to get there WSET WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust) diploma.
2. Who are the founders and how was the idea born ?
Wiine.me’s founders are Timothée Bardet and Frédéric Chenevard. Both are passionate and were born in winegrower’s families. Their main idea was to invite amateurs to discover wine exclusivities.
3. What about yourself, where does your wine passion comes from ?
I have always wanted to be a wine professional. However, my career is not that usual…I started to study marketing & management and then followed with a master in business creation. While studying I had a project about champagne and this is how I met the Wiine.me team. We kept in touch and are working together today.
4. How do you select your wine producers ?
We taste a lot! We often discover new wine trough subscribers and friends recommendations. We are also very active and visit numerous wine dedicated exhibitions.
5. Who are your main customers ?
We target young amateurs between 30 and 40 years old. Our online subscription system suits them better; it allows those people to learn step by step with flexibility. We find the more experienced wine drinkers who are used to buying and tasting since a long time, choose to go with their favorite producers.
6. Does your subscription system work well or is it just part of a trend ?
We receive excellent feedback from our clients. People like the flexibility offered by the system and they also appreciate the possibility to make originals gifts!
7. Does your concept focus on giving priority to quality products over industrial ones ?
Absolutely! It's especially important for us in the wine industry. The exclusivity of our products is one of our bests selling propositions.
8. When did you start and how many employees does the company counts now ?
Wiine.me. started 4 years ago and 5 people work with us today. We are now also hiring in order to focus on the business development.
9. What’s the outcome after 4 years ?
Business works well, we can’t complain ! We are lucky to propose a service that keeps people coming back and happy for more. However, we're careful to grow slowly but surely.
10. Each start up faces difficult moments, what’s your secret to never give up ?
My only one secret is my passion for entrepreneurship; I naturally spend my energy in the projects I am interested in. Now, all my strength goes to Wiine.me!
Written by Flore Martinson