The Christmas blog post. In the crisis ridden world that has been Green & Blue, traditionally a time of taking stock of exactly how it was that we dodged another bullet. And of raising a glass of our current favourite natural wine to a new year and a new chance.
2012 is a bit different. The combined nuclear warhead of a year of price increases in rent, the food and drink that we buy and the change of our food offering which never really took off coupled with a significant down turn in sales has meant that this time, it has been a bulls eye.
This, dearest customers and residents of SE London and all the people who have been incredible for 7 and a half years now, is sadly goodbye. We have, over the years, attracted some pretty harsh criticisms, some of which we deserved and some which I will never be made to believe that we did but I hope that everyone who has come to know us even slightly will feel that they have known how much we have genuinely cared about providing great wine, good food and a level of information and education that is not the norm with many businesses like this.
And I hope very much that the fact that we were around for over seven years proves that more often than not, we managed all of that.
I cannot pretend that this is not a body blow. Efforts to keep at least a website alive have, for the time being, failed. The final, slim chance for Green & Blue not to disappear altogether is the launch of a wine club. Details will follow shortly but please email email@example.com if you wish to be kept informed. If enough people sign up for this, this business may yet live to see another day although it will still be goodbye to a bricks and mortar site and my beloved team.
There are no people I want to thank more than them.. The core that holds on still will always be closest to my heart (Jude, Tom, Rebecca & Emily– that means you) – but Claire, Olly, Tony – you are held close too. All of you understood what it was that I believed in and wanted to achieve and all of you applied yourselves to making it real in ways that constantly sustained me. I could not have done any of it without all of you and neither would I have wanted to nearly as much as I did.
And then there are the customers who not only became friends but at times, quite literally saved us to ensure that we lived on to fight another day. Foremost in this cherished group is of course Lawyer Liz. The drains crisis would have been the end of us if she had not swooped in at a time when our energy and resources for the fight were critically low. She made the last 4 years considerably easier than they otherwise would have been and, like everyone I have been lucky enough to work closely with, made it fun. Even in the very darkest moments. Liz – I hope you know how deeply all of us will always appreciate this.
I already know that despite the fact that the personal and financial sacrifices I have had to make to start and run this business have been huge, I don’t think I will ever look back with even a second of regret. Most of all, I will probably remember the great wines drank with people I am now proud to call friends all over the world and the celebration of life that would consequently ensue. Despite everything, we did a lot of dancing and we also did a lot of laughing.
We will miss all of you and we hope very much that we have, at the very least, created a group of people who will remain thirsty for the greatest wines of the world. If we have taught you well, you will understand that this has nothing to do with price or labels but rather with bottles that are true to themselves and which reveal a sense of the place that made them.
You will know that these are always best drunk with great food and good people and not even a smidgeon of smug or pretension.
And finally, you will know never to believe the hype and to do the work involved in finding food and drink which is not made in factories. Because it is, after all, the stuff of life. And who wants a factory farmed life?
We hope as many of you as possible will come in to say goodbye in the next two weeks and we wish all of you a very merry Christmas. May 2013 be full of peace, prosperity and real, fine wine for all.