Thomson & Scott on Surviving and Thriving in a Pandemic

Thomson and Scott was a business almost obliterated by Covid, owing to a business model that relied heavily on selling to restaurants. But, with a little bit of Noughty and some fast changes, they’re thriving. We caught up with them to find out more.

Thomson and Scott - Amanda Thomson

Thomson and Scott was a successful business selling vegan prosecco largely to restaurants, hotels, bars and some independent retailers. It all changed in March 2020 when the UK's first Covid lockdown closed her customers' businesses.

Despite the on going pandemic, though, the business is now thriving thanks to some quick action and rapidly finding a DTC route. We catch up with Amanda to find out how a business that could easily have been crushed by Covid has thrived throughout.

Over to you, Amanda

When did you start Thomson and Scott?

Officially 2016 and really within the last 18 months has it become a business that’s growing as we’ve switched from alcohol to focus on our alcohol-free sparkling.

In a nutshell, what was the business doing before Covid?

We were selling our top quality organic vegan Prosecco and introduced Noughty, our alcohol-free sparkling Chardonnay to UK and international customers. It was traditionally restaurants, hotels and bars with some independent retailers.

How did Covid affect the business?

It almost killed the business as we were not set up to switch to a strong online presence.

We had to radically shift our focus, get our website to work as the first line of sales and really publicise ourselves as a brand  when we couldn’t rely our clients in ‘on and off trade’.

How did you adapt?

We promoted the hell out of Noughty, our alcohol-free bottle and used our skills in publicity to get national and international press coverage for our product and for me as an entrepreneur.

And how’s the business doing now?

It’s blooming thanks to all the efforts of our relatively small but highly experienced team.

We’ve had incredible press and reviews both here in the UK (Sun, Marie Claire, Independent) and in the US (New York Times, Washington Post, Wine Enthusiast).

We ran out of stock because of Brexit and that has almost crippled us AGAIN. But hopefully, there’ll be bottles arriving in our warehouse again in a couple of days!

 

What do you expect for your business over the next year?

Massive expansion in the US, Australia, India, Germany and Canada where Noughty is launching.

Thanks, Amanda

It’s so inspiring to hear from businesses that could easily have ended up victims of the pandemic but that have instead become stronger and more able to withstand change. This is a prime example of that. And if you fancy bagging yourself a bottle, you can check out the website here.

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