During the pandemic, Findlay Wines offered an invaluable lifeline to many, and not just by delivering top tipples, but by delivering food and prescriptions to people in the community too. In fact, the Budleigh wine shop acted quickly during the first lockdown offering what became an essential service. Now as Covid is seen as less of a threat, owner James Findlay is turning his attention to expanding his business.

Perfectly positioned on the High Street in Budleigh Salterton, Findlay Wines is the premium one-stop shop to acquire fine wines, delicious fizz and quality spirits, and at budgets to suit all pockets.

The purveyor of fine wines is James Findlay, who is from one of the oldest families in the town with deep roots in fishing. James has lived in Budleigh for all of his life and likes living by the coast, yet, his venture into the world of wine was most unexpected.
James said: "When I was 18 years old I worked on building sites during the day and at Threshers, the off-licence, in the evenings. When Threshers folded in 2013, the then franchisee of the shop changed it to Budleigh Wines."

Exmouth Journal: James Findlay, owner of Findlay WinesJames Findlay, owner of Findlay Wines (Image: Findlay Wines)

In 2013, the owner of Budleigh Wines decided to sell up so James was well-placed to buy the wine business from him. James added: "The thought of being my own boss seemed appealing."

In 2017, the business moved to its current location on the High Street and James renamed it Findlay Wines.
In the shop James is supported by manager Natalie Bowditch, who has a rich experience in the industry, being the former proprietor of Sidmouth Wines, and Abigail Silverforn, who works on the digital aspects of the company.

Using their wealth of knowledge, the team guides customers on finding that perfect tipple from its vast range of fine wines, spirits and all those hard-to-find weird and wonderful alcoholic beverages.

Exmouth Journal: Stock up on all those Christmas tipples at Findlay WinesStock up on all those Christmas tipples at Findlay Wines (Image: Findlay Wines)

The company also sells its own brand of beer - Findlay's Gold - which people specifically ask for. James has ambitions to introduce his own brand of wine one day, yet he is in the process of expanding so the branded wine dream is temporarily on pause.

The plans for the rebranding and expansion come in the wake of, as James says, 'the busiest year we’ve ever had.' He said: "We were doing everything during the first lockdown - food, prescriptions - the lot. Sometimes we simply delivered people's prescriptions without any wine order. We offered free, same day delivery too."

During the first month of the first lockdown, Findlay Wines' takings were up by 400 percent, yet this has diminished since the supermarkets reverted to normal operations.

After such a busy year, James would be excused for taking a well-earned break, but instead, he's looking to expand his business on a big scale. James said: "I'm looking at taking the company national. I want to offer free next-day delivery with no minimum order which no other wine company in the country does currently."

This unique selling point isn't without its challenges, with the delivery driver shortage being the most current and pressing issue.
To back up his grand plans the company is undergoing a rebrand currently, and that includes a newly designed website - so watch this space!

For more, see www.instagram.com/findlaywines or call 01395 444445