Harpenden commuters open specialist wine and craft beer shop at station
- Credit: Archant
Two new wine and craft beer shops have been opened at Harpenden and Berkhamsted stations.
The shops called Platform Wines were started by commuters James Allsop and Daniel Blake, and offer wines ranging from under £10 a bottle to £95, along with a large selection of craft beers and ciders, and spirits.
The idea for the business venture came to them after being frustrated they couldn't get a bottle of wine on their way home from the station.
James said: "About six months ago it came up in conversation that an upmarket wine shop might be a good business idea.
"We were confident that we weren't the only station users who would be interested, especially when we started planning in earnest.
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"Our initial market research revealed that there was nowhere to buy wine on any routes towards the town's residential areas.
The feedback has been largely positive so far.
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James continued: "We are already establishing a surprising number of regular customers who are returning to say how much they enjoyed their first purchase and ask for more recommendations."
Stock is currently supplied by specialist wholesalers in the UK but part of the partnership's ambition is eventually to source personally-chosen products directly from the countries of origin.
James explained: "Our love of wine has already taken us on tasting tours of Australia and we relish the opportunity to discover more high-quality drinks around the world and bring them back for Harpenden enthusiasts to enjoy."
With Platform Wines now trading successfully at two stations, James and Daniel have a vision of expanding to create a chain of handy outlets for rail commuters.
Govia Thameslink Railway business development manager Rovin Vaz said: "We are delighted to attract such a high-quality locally based retailer to offer more choice and convenience to our passengers and the Harpenden community.
"We look forward to working further with Platform Wines when opportunities come up on our network."
Platform Wines will be offering free mulled wine for Harpenden commuters on their way home on Christmas Eve.