We love talking to our members about what they do and how they’ve overcome challenges in business. Plus, we also like to find out why they love North Tyneside as a place to do business. We’ve been chatting to Jackie at Vineyard72.
Tell us a little more about the business
My business is a wine bar and we serve a selection of continental meats and cheeses. I love wine and cheese myself and wanted to provide people with good quality wine cheese and charcuterie, although we are as small venue we have as much choice as a good deli.
My pet hate is the limited choice of cheese on cheeseboards I have ordered in the past; it is often just one blue and a couple of hard cheeses. I find cheese is very much an individual thing what is right for one person is not right for the next person.
What challenges has the business overcome to become covid-secure?
The biggest hurdle we have had to overcome was the fact we had only been open 2 weeks when the bars were closed. I will be honest I believed it would be the end for me as I had invested everything in this business, for the first couple of weeks I believed there was nothing I could do and almost accepted my fate.
My partner came home from work one night and I said “I want to order cheese lots of cheese! I’m going to create vineyard72 at home”. The feedback we had received from potential customers before the wine bar opened and from the customers we had in the first 2 weeks was so positive I really thought this could work. So I then posted on Facebook that night putting the feelers out and I have been blown away with the response; our advertising so far has been only social media and word of mouth.
We deliver to doorsteps gardens and also offer a collection service where the customer calls us and we bring it direct to the car and all payments are done on line so no cash changes hands.
How has the business adapted the operation or workplace?
First of all it has went from a wine bar with cheese and charcuterie to cheese and charcuterie at home. Our boards have gone from I suppose more basic to so many different types. We have even catered for a socially distanced first date where the board was split in to separate boxes, we deliver gifts for birthdays,thank you, I am missing you gifts or I just want to treat myself and eat it in the garden.
I started off working alone but as we have got busier I have been able to bring back a staff member to help cope with the volume of boards we have had order from all over the world. We offer the service of a personalised message on every box with the addition of birthday cards that can be enclosed
How has North Tyneside Business Forum helped your business?
First of all the Forum has been very helpful right from the start before I opened ,I have learnt lots from reading other peoples posts especially about different things to claim (I couldn’t). I’m still waiting on clarification as to whether or not I can claim a grant but because of the Forum, I realise I’m not the only one.
Reading about how successful others have been and things they have overcome is one of the reasons I wont ever give up. I’m now not worrying about how/if/when I’m able to open as a wine bar but how I will cope because I need a whole separate premises to deal with the takeaway side of the business
One thing that makes your business different from the rest
We believe our business is unique we offer good quality food which is different from your normal Saturday night takeaway. It can be adapted to fit what the customer wants from a single person treating themselves to a romantic meal, a picnic in the park, or a gift for a forgotten birthday. Not many takeaways can offer that.
To read more about the Restarting Business in North Tyneside Campaign and to find tips on how your business can return to work safely
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