KWM Wines & Spirits marked their 25th year in business by succeeding in winning the ‘Regional Merchant of the Year’ Award for Northern Ireland at the prestigious International Wine Challenge Awards in London on 9th July.
This victory marks the first time that the Kilkeel-based retailer has won the award, recognised within the wine industry for their passion, expertise and dedication to offering the best wines to their customers across the UK and Ireland.
KWM Wines & Spirits has grown incredibly over the past 25 years within the wine scene. Started out in 1994 by Arnold and Jean Imrie, with family at the heart of the organisation, son Andrew soon entered the business and quickly developed a thirst for knowledge about wine and the wine business. This led to travelling the world, visiting and indeed working in vineyards and cellars and then personal and international recognition in the industry flagship WSET Diploma Qualification by winning a scholarship at the time. Since taking charge he set his sights to turn KWM Wines & Spirits into one of the best specialist shops not only in Northern Ireland but the rest of the UK.
Currently, KWM Wines & Spirits continue to trade from their store in Kilkeel, however, since 2008 Andrew took on the challenge of developing an e-commerce site that aimed to satisfy the needs of discerning clients more widely, while always offering the best possible price, service and value. Andrews keen interest and passion for the wine industry has grown this and the rest of the business into what it is today.
Company owner Andrew Imrie stated that bringing home the IWC Award was a huge endorsement for the business and everyone involved having invested so much time and effort to make it the specialist in the market it is today.
“My parents started this business nearly 3 decades ago and with the help of them, I was able to make the business my own by building an online presence that continues to grow and now counts for a sizeable proportion of our annual turnover. The business has come a long way in the last 25 years from trading solely in our Kilkeel store to now exporting the best-quality wines and spirits to customers across the UK, Europe and indeed the World.”
“We are delighted that our passion and expertise in the industry has been recognised at an international level and we are excited to see what the future holds.”