Have you had a dream, that when the opportunity presents itself to make it actually happen, seems too good to be true?
This is what has happened with Wine & Such.
I am Steph DiCamillo. Originally from New Jersey, I have lived in London for the past six years. My husband and I moved to Lewisham in 2018.
When we started exploring the neighbourhood one of the first places we visited was L'Oculto when it was on Loampit Hill. I immediately fell in love with the building. It had so many charming features and quirks. I used to walk past and admire from the street and think, yah, that's great.
I have always worked in the hospitality industry, from hotel events to most recently as a Brand Ambassador for a gin company. I even received my Bachelor's degree in Hospitality Management. When I found myself taking redundancy early in 2020, I had free time to explore creating my own drinks brand. I had discovered something called water kefir and thought, yes! That's what I will make.
I began looking for a space to rent and as luck would have it one day I was walking by 57 Handmade as a sign was being put outside saying they were renting out spaces. I could not email fast enough.
I couldn't believe it...the building I was in love with, I was going to be able to work there everyday? Amazing.
Fast forward a year (and one defunct water kefir brand...turns out fermented sodas are really hard to bottle), a chance to take over the front of 57 Handmade presented itself. Always in the back of my mind I had the dream of opening a wine shop, suddenly that might be able to happen. A few logistics worked out and it is actually happening.
I want Wine & Such to be the type of neighbourhood store I would enjoy going in every week.
Friendly & accessible
Interesting & quirky
Warm & unstuffy
I've made the conscious decision to not stock too many wines & ciders. Instead, I have thought about the different categories or situations you would like to enjoy wine & cider, and sought out a particular wine to fit that category. Around 35 bottles or so in total, with clear tasting notes and descriptions.
I have tasted every single wine & cider and wholeheartedly recommend every one because I feel it is delicious AND good value. I want people to be able to drink better everyday. So I have purposefully chosen wines that are a majority under £20.
One of the things I am most excited about at Wine & Such is offering refillable wine, cider, & vermouth.
Bring in a bottle, fill up as much as you would like, & enjoy delicious beverages at home at the price of a mass market grocery store offering. Packaging is a huge expense for brands, so by taking out the cost of bottles, labels, and shipping, it means you are paying for the quality of the product you are drinking, rather than marketing.
There will also be English rapeseed oil, sherry vinegar, Mont 58 Catford coffee beans, English verjus, and craft cold-brew available as refill. I will have bottles available in case you forget, but the beauty is bring any old empty bottle and fill her up. I even have a wine corker so you can walk away fully sealed!
What's the & such?
It basically means all the little items I think you might like to pick up when you are in for your weekly wine shop. English charcuterie, chocolates, coffee, lovely smelling candles, leather from our resident Roxtown Designs who share 57 Handmade with us, textiles from Mary the owner of 57 Handmade, and vintage finds I pick up along my many flea market trips.
My hope is to make Wine & Such the type of local shop you stop in weekly, not a place reserved for special occasions only.