Updated: May 26
Taste Magazine spoke with managing director Graeme Sutherland about the new project and bringing the community back to the Cannonmill's high street
It is hard to deny the hardships that the high street has faced, especially as the country has grown used to spending time at home in the wake of Covid-19. However, WineKraft desire to turn that around.
WineKraft, which opened its doors to Cannonmills on the 26th of April, houses over 450 different types of wine from all over the world and operates under the Good Brothers umbrella ran by Graeme and Rory Sutherland. While the company originally focused on selling natural wines, they have shifted slightly to provide community and sustainability as their central ethos. As Graeme Sutherland states:
"We moved slightly away from natural wines being our ethos to sustainability and, while natural wine is a big part of that, its about working with real people, that’s what we really champion. Actually knowing where the wine, the cheese, the meat comes from. We might buy through slightly larger companies but the things we buy from those companies are producers I and Rory personally know and we know there ethos behind the scenes."
"We are in the process of trying to become a B corp which might be the only way forward for corporate. It’s like happy capitalism where there's three pillars, one of which is social responsibility, making sure staff are paid well and respected. We have a fiscal responsibility to keep our finances in check and that we are responsible and the third and most important is the environmental pillar. Without the environment we live in, none of us have anything so that is the key ethos running through the business right now."
To say Graeme has had ample experience in the wine industry would be an understatement. After leaving St Andrews University in 2000, he had a stint as an apprentice winemaker in Burgundy with Maison Louis Jadot, and then travelled the world, furthering his career. Now returning to Cannonmills where he spent a large part of his childhood, Winekraft is his first solo venture under the Good Brothers name, acting as both a modern grocer and a hub for the business, operating in a community close to his heart.
“This is and always has been home. My wife and I have always talked about opening something here because we know and have so many friends and family that live around here, it’s a great place to do business."
"There's such a good community feeling in Cannonmills and in the past its suffered due to its proximity to Stockbridge and Leith. But now, having only been here for 3 weeks the sense of community is phenonmenal and I absolutely love it. People are grateful for us and others investing in the high street down here. We came in done things nicely, we have wines that range from £9 to £400 but we haven’t gone in trying to be a cheap and cheerful booze shop or a high end exclusive, we’ve positioned the shop so that anyone can walk off the street and find anything for the right price point in a nice environment. I tried to make it like my living room so if I feel at ease then I can make other people feel at ease.”
However, Winekraft aims to be much more than a wine and provisions shop. With 1,800 square feet of space available, Graeme hopes to provide a space for wine tasting in the back of the shop and develop a wine cave in the cellars, providing a social space for the local community to enjoy some wine and charcuterie. They are also hoping to launch their tasting program soon of what is to come in an effort to revitalise the local high street.
"Post-covid, people do need a reason to come out. If things went back to normal in July of last year, I don't think anyone would have had a problem going back again because they weren't so used to being at home. Now that its been a full year, the whole lifestyle has changed, staying in is the new normal. If the high street is to succeed in the future we need to start giving them a reason to come out and create an experience for people and that's what we hope to make here."
If you are looking for a wine and provisions shop that provides quality products in a friendly, relaxed environment, be sure to check out WineKraft, now open on Brandon Terrace in Cannonmills. For further information, be sure to check out the WineKraft website here.