Every week, we shine a spotlight on the best small brands we think are worth shouting about. We love our great British high street, but there are so many fantastic independent brands out there making clothes, accessories, homeware and more from a place of passion and love and we need to support them – now more than ever.
From fashion and beauty to homeware, accessories and food, we bring you the best small businesses you need on your radar. This week we chat with Sophie Svoboda and Natasha Patel, co-founders of the new wine brand Savor.
How did Savor come about?
Our journey started during lockdown when we started thinking about how we could make wine more accessible to people by providing an experience that gave more than just a bottle. Our months of lockdown and dinners at home got us thinking about how we could incorporate technology and wine to create a full experience and so we started building our business plan and launched in May 2021. It was a quick five months but we were so excited to receive our first bottles in such a short time.
With backgrounds in tech and consulting, we were passionate about creating a physical product to enjoy inspired by our travels and time spent at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. We were inspired to learn more about wine and food pairing because we were spending a lot of time at home during lockdown and wanted to share our knowledge with other people by creating Savor and making the pairing experience as easy and fun as possible.
What three words describe Savor?
Experiential, wanderlust, flavourful.
Who is the Savor customer?
We have received terrific feedback from all types of people, but find that our typical customers are usually people who want to learn more about how to pair food and wine with maximum convenience. Our customers are people who love to travel and want to elevate their home gatherings with a Savor experience. People often say they love our quick and simple checkout and free 48 hour home delivery (wine is heavy!).
How did you select the Savor wines?
Michelin-starred chef Andrew Wong’s quote ‘the food tells the story, the wine provides the music’ stands out to us, to describe what we’re trying to accomplish. We believe that wine pairing goes further than tasting notes, but encompasses the atmosphere and environment it can create and transport you to. As we were limited from travelling for the past months, we found that music and food was a great way to experience new cultures and to ‘travel’.
Sophie has a background in culinary school and we worked with a friend in culinary school, Julia Rawe, to create custom recipes for each wine and ensure they were suitable for any dietary restriction with a nod to the country of the wine’s origin. For the playlists, we worked with The Nightingale Club to curate playlists reflecting the atmosphere we’d envision when enjoying the wine in its country of origin.
We worked with small and local wineries in Valencia (Spain), Puglia (Italy) and Minervois (France) respectively to develop our wine based on the tasting notes we wanted. It was a long process of tasting over 80 wines to get to where we are today. Our red is bold and smooth, our rosé is pale and refreshing and the white crisp and zesty. We’re huge wine lovers and wanted to find the best possible quality and taste at an accessible price point.
Tell us about those beautiful labels…
Each bottle’s label artwork was inspired by the origin of the wine inside. Each bottle’s illustrated hand-drawn sketch of one natural element (the French bottle depicts lavender, the Spanish bottle an olive tree branch and the Italian bottle a courgette flower) alludes to our commitment to give back to the environment by planting one tree for every bottle sold and committing to vegan-produced wine.
What does a typical day look like for you?
No day is the same. As we’re a fully independent small business, the two of us run everything from sales to marketing to accounting to fulfilment to really anything else you can imagine. We try to prioritise the week and split tasks as they come in. We don’t really have defined roles and find we can help balance each other well. As we’re starting to move past our launch phase, we’re now honing in on growing our brand. We’ve gotten really amazing feedback from anyone who has tried our wine, which means so much when you put everything into the business.
What’s the best and worst thing about running your own business?
The best thing has definitely been seeing our product physically and hearing all the positive feedback – it really makes our day to hear when people have a great evening with loved ones in the company of our wine – exactly how we imagined it when ideating Savor.
But launching a business is tough work and we always joke that it’s a true rollercoaster. Every day comes with a major challenge and major accomplishment – balancing the emotions of that is a challenge in itself. Otherwise, Brexit has naturally been a challenge for us – given our wines are sourced from the EU – with our red and white stuck in customs for several weeks. But they’ve finally arrived in the UK and we’re so excited to hear what people think now that we have our full offering available.
The most memorable moment so far?
When we received our first bottle of Savor wine and got to physically feel and taste the wine that we had spent months working on. We both come from a tech background, so working with a physical product is really special.
Which wine is your current favourite?
So tricky to say because we chose all three with so much care but if we had to choose we’d say the rosé for now since the weather has been treating us well and it’s so light and refreshing!
Finally, is there anything exciting in the pipeline?
As we really try to be more than just a bottle, we are exploring some exciting partnerships and potential accessories – stay tuned! We also have some Savor weddings coming up and can’t wait to see them make an appearance.