Melbourne Music Week starts today until 26 November – a fun-filled week of music (natch), films, workshops, parties, eating and drinking.
One of my discoveries for Melbourne Music Week is actually not directly about music. If you visit any of the bars at Melbourne Music Week you’ll find Lupe, an innnovative single serve filled wine glass that’s perfect for festivals and events. Today’s HOT Chat is with Georgia Beattie, the founder of Lupe (you’ll have to excuse the lack of accent on the ‘e’ of Lupe, can’t work it out on my keyboard!). Thanks Georgia!
Georgia, tell me a bit more about your background and the story behind Lupe?
I’ve grown up amongst all things wine. My father started making wine when I was young and of course he had us out in the vineyard picking grapes and getting amongst the very hands on process of making wine. I have worked with my father at his company Swords Select for the last 5 or so years which gave me a feel for the wine industry and running a business.
What inspired you to develop Lupe?
I was at a festival in Melbourne and I asked the bar staff whether I could have a glass of wine instead of the typical lolly water or beer that they usually serve.
It turned out that the packaging was the major limitation. Spirits and beer seem to have managed to create a user friendly package, I pondered why hadn’t wine?
So given my wine background and entrepreneurial drive I started prototyping my own single serve glass of wine. I came across some fairly major hurdles in the PET glass creation just about the same time I learnt of James Nash in the UK who had been working on a ready to drink wine product for the last 5 years.
I jumped on a plane with all that was remaining in my bank account shortly after finishing university and now I have the rights to Mr Nash’s product in Australia, New Zealand and Asia. Having Mr Nash’s product opposed to my own creation gave me a much faster route to market as well as the confidence with a proven and tested product that was successfully selling in the UK and Europe.
What’s a typical work day for you and what advice would you give to someone starting their own business?
I usually go for a jog around the tan at 5.30 / 6am to prepare myself for the day (healthy body healthy mind). I have a coffee on my way to work (location depending on my mood – I don’t have a regular I’ll rotate between St Edmonds, Auction Rooms, Dukes Coffee, Cumulus Inc). Over a coffee I plan my day and to do list.
If I could predict the rest of my day it would make my life a lot easier, unfortunately I roll with the punches and try to cross as much as I can off my to do list.
What are your next plans for Lupe?
Lupe is essentially a packaging company so I’d like to walk down the liquor isle within 5 years and see all my favorite branded wines with a single serve version along side the 750ml bottle. We’re creating an entirely new market segment with the single serve that is complementary to the 750ml bottle. It’s going be extremely challenging but exciting at the same time. We’re currently in discussions with 2 large wine companies about packaging a single serve.
We recently launched in Japan and we’ll slowly roll out into Korea and Hong Kong next year.
Finally, what HOT places and things do you love about Melbourne?
Kubik opens this Friday down at Birrarung Marr near Federation Square. This is definitely HOT and will be until the 28th Nov. Line ups and info available here.
A long breakfast reading the newspaper on the weekend at Speakeasy Kitchen Bar (359 Chapel St, South Yarra +61 3 9824 0770), Lawsons Grove Shop (1 Lawson Grove South Yarra +61 3 9866 3640) or St Edmonds (154 Greville Street Prahran +61 3 9525 0473).
The Smith (213 High St, Prahran) for dinner and a drink.
Unoriginal late night drinks at Siglo or Supper Club (161 Spring St, Melbourne +61 3 9654 6300).