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Cardiff Wine Passport Scheme Passes £30,000 Milestone
Tuesday, 8 September 2023 · FOR Cardiff
Successful scheme helps promote independent hospitality venues in Cardiff city centre.
The Cardiff Wine Passport, a unique initiative aimed at promoting independent hospitality businesses in the heart of Cardiff, is celebrating a significant milestone. Since its launch just over a year ago, the Cardiff Wine Passport has successfully generated more than £32,000 in revenue for local and exclusively independent restaurants and bars in Cardiff city centre.
Developed by local PR consultant and wine enthusiast Jane Cook, the Cardiff Wine Passport was created with the objective of supporting and highlighting the diverse array of independent hospitality businesses in the city centre. The innovative program allows patrons to sample Cardiff’s vibrant culinary scene, while enjoying handpicked glasses of wine at participating venues over a set period of time.
The concept is simple enough; patrons buy a passport online, then exchange passport stamps for glasses of wine at a curated selection of locally owned businesses – an optional food pairing can also be added at the time of redemption. By encouraging Cardiff residents and visitors to explore these local gems, the Cardiff Wine Passport has become a catalyst for increased footfall and revenue for participating establishments.
Independent businesses often face challenges in competing with larger chain establishments, but the Cardiff Wine Passport aims to level the playing field and bring more visibility to these treasured independent and often family-owned venues. Local business owners have expressed their gratitude for the initiative, with many reporting a marked increase in footfall and sales since first taking part in the scheme.
One such venue is Vermut, an independent micro-bar which specialises in sherry, wines from Montilla-Moriles and Vermouth – all popular aperitifs in Spain. Modelled on the small late-night bars found in cities like Madrid, the bar is thought to be one of the first of its kind in the UK, but it initially struggled to attract local custom with its unique offering. The Cardiff Wine Passport scheme has given people an excuse to pop in for a stamp and give it a try.
Jack Holtom, venue manager at Vermut explained “Over the last year or so, we’ve seen a slow and steady increase in customers, and that is thanks in no small part to the Cardiff Wine Passport giving people the confidence to come in and try something a bit different; all they have to do is come in and ask for their stamp – it takes away any of the intimidation or worry about trying something new. The best bit is that we get to watch these new customers fall in love with what we do here, and then they come back to us again and again.”
Natalie Isaac, Director at Bar 44 and Asador 44 echoed these comments, saying, “It’s a brilliant scheme, and everyone has loved being part of it, including our staff. We have had loads of brand-new customers through the doors as a result.”
Passing the £30,000 revenue milestone is a testament to the support that the Cardiff Wine Passport has amassed, but in reality, the total revenue impact of the scheme is likely to be much higher; most passport holders opt to add additional food pairings and bar snacks at each venue as they go about collecting their passport stamps.
Cardiff Wine Passport founder Jane Cook said, “I’m thrilled with the level of support the passport scheme has received – from both the wine lovers who use it to explore new venues, and the local businesses who have signed up to take part. It’s fantastic to know that the scheme has had such a positive impact, as these indie businesses bring so much unique charm and flavour to our city; Cardiff would be a much poorer place without them.”
FOR Cardiff initially helped Cardiff Wine Passport to launch as a pilot with a grant from its City Ambition Fund. As the scheme has expanded, they have since become an official sponsor for 2023.
Head of Projects and Engagement at FOR Cardiff, Emily Cotterill said: “Not only has the Cardiff Wine Passport directly generated over £30,000 for the independent venues involved, but it has also helped to bring new customers to these venues – meaning the real impact is even greater. It’s a great example of how our City Ambition Fund has supported the development of projects that tangibly benefit Cardiff city centre.”
The current Cardiff Wine Passport: Summer Edition is on sale now; each one costs £26 and entitles the holder to six glasses of wine from their own choice of 12 different city centre venues. The participating bars and restaurants taking part in the summer edition are: Bar 44, Asador 44, Kindle, Parallel, Bacareto, Scaredy Cats Café Bar, Daffodil, Curado Bar, Vermut, The Dead Canary, Nighthawks and Lab 22.
To learn more about the Cardiff Wine Passport scheme and to purchase a passport, visit www.cardiffwinepassport.co.uk.