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The Wine Society boosts buying team

The Wine Society has boosted its team with the appointment of two new buyers, a former buyer from Lay & Wheeler and C&C Group’s former wine trading director.











Former Lay & Wheeler’s buyer Fiona Hayes will join the team in the next few weeks. Prior to joining Lay & Wheeler in July 2022, Hayes spent 13 years at Berry Bros. & Rudd, nine of which were spent curating selections for Fields, Morris & Verdin, before she joined the main BBR team as a senior buyer in 2017, responsible for buying Rhône, USA, Austria, Germany, Alsace, Languedoc-Roussillon, Provence and South West France. She started her wine career at Berkmann Wine Cellars in stock control, but is currently studying on the Master of Wine programme.

In a post on LinkedIn, Hayes said she was excited to be joining the Wine Society although she had “thoroughly enjoyed working for Lay & Wheeler”, where the team and producers made it “a great place to work”.

The Wine Society also recruited Harriet Kininmonth, the former wine trading director at C&C Group, who will join the team in April.  Prior to joining C&C Group in August 2021, Kininmonth spent twelve years at Enotria, where she started as a buyer before working her way to director of wine buying.
“Her commitment to excellence shines through,” the company said on a LinkedIn post, adding that it was a “special” moment for the organisation.
Pierre Mansour, The Wine Society’s director of wine welcoming the two women, saying they talented and experienced buyers to the buying  team.
“Between them, Fiona and Harriet bring huge amount of knowledge and skill, and each demonstrated a real passion for The Wine Society and a thorough understanding of our unique way of doing business. Their addition to our existing team brings a wealth of experience, impressive commercial understanding and a fresh outlook. It will also ensure we have a comprehensive handover ahead of the retirement of two of our most experienced and long-standing buyers Joanna Locke MW and Marcel Orford-Williams.”
In a LinkedIn post, the Wine Society noted that new buyers were “a rare occurrence” making it “a historic event” for the society.
“As a cooperative owned by its members, the role of a Society buyer differs to that of other retailers, in that they select their wines based purely on what members will love, rather than to maximise profit, free to explore rare parcels and unusual styles as well as well-known favourites,” it added in a statement.



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