“Mighty oaks from little acorns grow” 14th century proverb
Never has a phrase been more appropriate than when considering the development of BI. From a small child taking its first steps to a mature, well rounded and travelled adult celebrating their 18th birthday, BI has finally come of age! And much has happened in the last 18 years. As just the fourth member to join the original team, I have witnessed many changes and developments.
As with any proud parent, it’s been emotional, demanding, exciting and educational, but most of all satisfying. Whilst it’s not exactly the classic ‘rags-to-riches’ story, the history of BI has been more of a tightrope walk than some might think. From our humble beginnings, with just 6 staff on makeshift office furniture, relying on our fax machine and mobile phones, we battled to establish ourselves against long-standing competition. At times in the first 5 years we were really on the brink but we battled on... Fast forward to 2015 with our 4 floors of office space in London’s Hatton Garden, boasting a purpose built tasting and dining room - and not forgetting our hard working 50+ staff spanning 4 countries for a total global presence. Since the opening of BI USA to go alongside HK and Singapore, we are truly a 24-hour operation.
Of course, none of this would have been possible without the many friends and partners BI has made over the years and without the vision of the 3 founding partners, Gary Boom, Richard Mannell and of course Dylan Paris, who sadly is no longer with us after passing away in 2004.
We’ve seen many changes since our birth in 1997 to our coming of age in 2015 and thank all those who we’ve had the pleasure to meet, eat, drink and be merry with over the last 18 years. We’re hugely grateful to those suppliers who have supported us and provided us with such exceptional wines to taste and sell; long may it continue. We’d also like to thank customers both long-established and recently joined – we are delighted that you have chosen to buy your wine through BI and look forward to continuing your – and our – vinous journey.
Here’s to the next 18 years. Bonne Annee.