I have now been working in the UK wine trade for twenty years and for the last fourteen of those I have worked for ‘Laytons Wine Merchants’. On the 1st of March 2018, myself and my team join with our sister company Jeroboams to become ‘Jeroboams Trade’. In fact, ‘join’ is the wrong word, since 2000 Laytons has been part of Jeroboams and this process is about making a simple change to highlight the combined strength we have as Trade, Retail, Private Sales and Broking departments in one company.

For those that love Laytons, and I am one, the great name does not die, like ‘Marathon’ or ‘Opal Fruits’. Laytons in fact becomes our agency importing house under the watchful eye of buying director and master of wine, Peter Mitchell. Laytons has always been (since 1934) an importing wine company. A visit to any domaine or château around Europe will confirm that Laytons is known in that capacity. You will see it in their cellars, with palates of Puligny or Chateau bottled claret labelled ‘Reserved for LWM’ – Laytons Wine Merchants – and that will not change.

So what does this mean as Jeroboams Trade? In short, nothing, except for some branding and email addresses (do not worry, our Laytons email addresses will still work). We will still have the same team, with Tracy and Sophia in the office taking the orders and generally running the show, Paul and Delphine making sure the stock does not run out, Chris, Nico and Dennis still selling into their restaurant, bars and pubs, and me and Will selling into our corporates around the country. Our people are the same, our wines will still be the high quality they have always been and our service will still be something that we care about passionately with every customer, large or small.

But what it does do is give us direction for the future, placing us at the heart of a company with lofty plans and high ideals. It is simple, really: great wines from Laytons supplied to you by Jeroboams Trade.

Michael Robins is Jeroboams’ Wholesale Director.