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Amathus Drinks beefs up ambition with two new hires
UK specialist drinks importer, distributor and retailer Amathus Drinks has boosted its team with the appointment of former Oddbins head buyer, Ana Jackson MW (née Sapungiu), as the new head of wine business development as well as appointing former Vivino exec Andy Harris as new marketing manager.
The move is aimed accelerating its growth potential and and evolve its increasingly varied wine portfolio, which it says will “reinforce further Amathus Drinks’ commitment to excellence, diversity, and innovation in the dynamic sector”.
Jackson brings more than twenty years of expertise to her new role, having worked as head buyer at Oddbins, where she built strong relationships with direct suppliers, and been a seasoned judge for numerous competitions, including the db’s Global Masters series and the IWC and IWSC (no and low) awards. She will champion the “healthy portfolio of wine offered”, the company said, as well as to contributing more esoteric wines to its 1000-strong range, working across both trade and retail teams to drive wine sales across both channels, secure and maintain key trade accounts, as well as developing a training programmes within the business in partnership with suppliers and regional bodies.
“Jackson has a passion for authentic, high-quality wines with a story, that perfectly aligns with Amathus Drinks’ dedication to stocking exclusive wines and highly sought-after fine wines,” the company said.
In September, head of wine Jeremy Lithgow MW told db, as part of a wide-ranging interview, that stocking organic, and biodynamic wine was almost a “default position” in terms of looking for new producers.
Jackson noted that Amathus Drinks had a “clear goal of growth and is ready to try new things in a fast-changing environment” and that walking into one of its shops was “like walking into the best candy shop on the high street for a wine and spirit lover!”
” There is an incredibly broad range of eclectic spirits and a fantastic and increasing range of interesting high-quality wines,” she said, adding that she looked forward to contributing to raising the profile, increasing the wine business, and building up the brands of some great wine producer agencies.
Jackson is being joined by Andy Harris as marketing manager, who joins from Vivino, having previously worked at Berry Bros. & Rudd for four years, where he oversaw the fine wine marketing. Prior to joining the drinks industry, he worked in investor relations in the City, giving a diverse background that Amathus said perfectly contributed to its own dynamic and would support the brand during a continued period of growth.
Amathus Drink’s commercial director Tom Miller said that 2024 would be exciting year for Amathus Drinks as the company continued its mission to become the leading specialist wine and spirit merchant in the UK on-trade.
“We are delighted to have Ana and Andy join the team to help make that mission a reality. Our new ‘liquid on lips’ strategy, spearheaded by Ana and our Head of Wine Jeremy Lithgow MW, promises expanded trade and retail tastings, showcasing our fantastic range of wines. Alongside enhanced support packages for our partner trade venues, this will support our double-digit growth ambitions.”
Lithgow told db back in the autumn that the company’s retail, fine wine and private client business, which makes up around 20-25% of the business (the remainder comprising its wholesale business) was showing growth. Fine wine sales had been growing “rapidly” in store and online, and had the potential for “exponential growth”.