"Always as independents we try to support each other and collaborate where we can."
Ola Dabrowska and Duncan Sime, Kwas

Ola Dabrowska and Duncan Sime opened the Kwas in December 2018, opening up Huddrsfield to a world of natural wine sourced from independent wine makers. As well as being a space to drink out, take in, share a bottle with friends or sample by the glass, Kwas also offers an adaptable art space, with regular gigs, tasting events and more.

How has the corona virus affected your business?

We have reduced our shop openings from 35 hours to just 10 hours, only allowing people to take out, no drinking in or sharing a bottle. Most orders are now pre ordered or delivered.

What can your customers do to support you during the lock down?

They can buy wine / cider / beer via our website (www.kwasshopandbar.ecwid.com) or just post some spare change through our letter box 😊

You work with lots of independent wine makers, how has the situation effected your suppliers and your ability to work with them?

Not at all to be honest, supply at the moment is as strong as ever – however some of our small importers have really struggled with the collapse of the London restaurant trade – they have adapted too, by offering home deliveries to the public. Which I think people will expect all the time, which is not really a bad thing.

"some of our small importers have really struggled with the collapse of the London restaurant trade

What have you learned from the lock down and is there anything you will do differently as a business once things return to normal?

We’ve definitely learned how to wash our hands and not to touch every single bottle of wine on the shelves! Joking aside it has made us rethink our entire business model, we have now implemented some different methods of how well sell wine (alongside Cider and beer) The website has helped massively, it has kept things ticking over when we aren’t open. We don’t think there will be a normal anymore, we are interested in providing more of a community service and giving something back to this town.

We have seen lots of examples of innovation and collaboration over the past few weeks, do you think the situation has brought local independents closer together?

Only as humans, we have been brought closer together. Always as independents we try to support each other and collaborate where we can.

What do you think the long term impact will be on your business and on the industry post-Covid?

We can’t really tell at the moment, we might change how we function totally. We just need to go with the flow. For sure nothing is going to be normal anymore.

Is there anything you have been enjoying about the lockdown? What have you been doing to keep yourselves busy (at home or with the business)?

We completed Netflix, enjoying more times together, we have spent more time in the garden, built some furniture – as a business were always busy with new ideas and being creative this has just pushed up even more to think on our feet.

Finally, if we could order one thing from you to help us though the isolation, what would it be?

Buy our lovely natural wine and drink better.

"some of our small importers have really struggled with the collapse of the London restaurant trade

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