From Locked-Down Neighbourhood Restaurant to the Nation’s Wine Supply – Top Cuvée & Shop Cuvée

In March 2020, like many, Brodie Meah and Max Venning saw themselves in the heart-breaking position of having to close their less-than-year-old restaurant due to the impact of Covid-19. Thinking fast, the pair pushed all the tables to one side, grabbed the wine stock from the cellar, and Top Cuvée became Shop Cuvée. Providing natural wines for pick up, local drop off, and even cycling chilled bottles to surrounding parks.

Requests for their unpretentious and fun approach to natural wines were quickly pouring in from as far as Inverness and it wasn’t long until they realised they were onto a nationwide product. Knowing lockdown wouldn’t last forever, they put an offer on a bricks and mortar site around the corner from the restaurant mothership – this would act as a base for the orders to be processed each day, but also as a gorgeous permanent bottle and deli shop for their beloved locals to enjoy once the restaurant was back in service.

With just their (increasingly popular) Instagram account behind them, Sauce came on board in August 2020 to help reach an audience beyond their loyal north London fanbase. Our four starting objectives with this client were as follows: to build a lockdown success story (The FT, How to Spend It), promote the nationwide subscription and delivery service (The Telegraph), to launch the Shop Cuvée physical site to the target London audience (Evening Standard), and to profile Brodie & Max as the faces of natural wines amongst trade press (Code).

By working closely with the team, hosting press (when possible), and building a layered and time-sensitive story, we have been able to take the local favourite to a widely recognised brand. Following five short months of business profiling, incredible press reception and continued business tenacity, the Cuvée brand is fast becoming not only London’s answer to natural wine, but the nation’s.

In acknowledgement of their incredible story to-date, Top/Shop Cuvée have been nominated for The Marketing Society’s Brave Brand of The Year Award 2020, a shortlist which sees them as the only independent brand in the running, up against major players such as IKEA, Deliveroo, Nike and Coca-Cola.

A string of high-profile, relevant partnerships and collaborations are to be announced in the new year.