Quality, natural wines delivered to your door by a vino aficionado with a little chin wag thrown in? Sounds good doesn’t it?
Exactly what Jerome, founder of Le Social, discovered when he delivered expertly selected wines to friends in early lockdown. Since then Le Social has matured into a community with a shared interest in fine food, wellbeing and, of course, stunningly good wine….
Tell us what’s different about the wines and ways of Le Social?
We select quality wine with a focus on those that are natural, organic and sustainably made plus a small selection of food and lifestyle items to pair.
Our online shop is built for local deliveries, directly to people’s home or office in and around Manchester. No couriers, no lost parcels, no breakage, often by bike. We deliver ourselves, and take the opportunity to discuss the wines face to face and check in with Le Social’s community.
Where did the idea for Le Social come from?
Le Social was born during the Covid-19 lockdown when we delivered wine straight to our friends’ houses for a small fee, with all profits going to charity.
When did you decide to take the next step and set up as business?
We realised how much of a difference our socially distanced visits were making and launched Le Social on August 1st. More than an online platform, Le Social is now a community of people sharing a common interest for gastronomy, creativity, and wellbeing.
As a new business what’s proving to be a hit with your community?
We recently launched our Christmas shop which is working well so far! This will be our very first Christmas so we’ve curated a selection of festive wines, generous hampers, gift packs, stocking fillers and more.
What have you really enjoyed about being an indie shop owner so far?
The flexibility to support any projects we like, stock any products we love, collaborate with a range of creatives and makers from different backgrounds…and the direct, personal relationship we have with our customers.
What advice would you give to someone setting up an indie shop?
Setting up a new business is a rollercoaster, so better be emotionally and physically equipped for long hours, the occasional frustrations, the rookie mistakes… Your Work/Life balance will be completely ruined for a while, but it’s all worth it and it gets better!
You get to do something you are truly passionate about and to be your own captain. It no longer feel like ‘work’ in the 9-5 sense of it. But it takes time, patience and resilience are definitely the two quality you’ll need most!
As a new business what’s your experience of the independent scene in Manchester been like so far?
The 1+1=3 rule is even truer in the independent scene, and it can be a very strong support network whenever you’re in any doubt about an idea.
Here at Pollard Yard for instance, where our HQ and shop is, everyone supports each other and collaborates on different exciting projects. We’d invite anyone who’d like to discuss ways to work with us and create together to get in touch!
Now more than ever is a good time for independent business to continue to collaborate and innovate together.
Whats the most valuable thing you’ve learnt about setting up a business in 2020?
Not something we just learnt, but something 2020 definitely proved: whether you are an individual, an organisation or a business, empathy and generosity should always be at the core of what we do, especially when we face such challenges. People over profits, always.
Jerome is the founder of Le Social, a Manchester based independent shop for food & wine. Le Social are currently running an advent competition on Instagram.