We had the good fortune of connecting with Christine Meredith and Daisy Kwoh and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christine and Daisy, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
Our success comes from our rotating selection of wines coupled with the way we talk about our wines.
We call ourselves a farmer’s market for wine and offer new wines every season. By celebrating wines that pair well with seasonally fresh ingredients and upcoming occasions, we are able to continually introduce people to wines that are relevant and interesting.
We also talk about wine in a way that is relatable and meaningful. As sommeliers, we are used to a world of technical wine details which can be meaningful, but makes the wine-shopping experience overwhelming and frankly not fun for many people. We use relatable experiences “Like a hug from Grandma” and analogies “Biting into a juicy peach” to describe wines in a way that both educates and humanizes the wine experience.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
We both had very different career paths before launching Guildford Green. We worked in different parts of the wine industry and when we crossed paths, it became clear that we shared many values that would help us launch our company.
Christine navigated her way through the wine industry from restaurant to retail. The retail space was and still is largely dominated by mass and commercial producers. Not only did smaller, family wineries struggle to make it to consumers – the hard work, the stories, and the energy behind their wines were lost in the overwhelming wine aisles. It inspired her to create a new way to bring these wines and their stories to consumers.
Daisy worked at an ad agency before moving into brand management for a few different wineries. As the marketing industry shifted into one that engaged and created value for consumers, she felt the wine industry was still focused on marketing information that didn’t feel meaningful for customers.
Focusing exclusively on small-production and family-owned wineries, we set out to find winemakers who infuse character and lots of personality into their craft. We know our customers expect transparency and we stand behind each bottle. Our stories are authentic and we help our customers discover new and delicious wines while supporting these small businesses.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Los Angeles is known as a driving-city and not one for pedestrians and public transit, but we think there’s a lot to see in LA on foot. From West LA, one of our favorite adventures starts on the Expo Line, taking it from Santa Monica to 7th Street/Metro Center. It’s a great way to see the city, and from there a short walk to the Public Library – which is sort of a hallowed experience. It’s a beautiful piece of architecture and home to so much incredible LA history – where dozens of city librarians created programs to shape LA, from offering high school diplomas to a safe haven during crises, not to mention the infamous fire. Another short walk through some of LA’s tallest buildings takes us to the iconic Angel’s Flight (which now reminds us of every episode of Bosch) and down into Grand Central Market. Lots of incredible places to grab a bite, but we’re a huge fan of the more recently added Donut Man and their must-try strawberry donut. The sci-fi nerd in Daisy would squeeze in a sneak peek of the Bradbury building before wandering down Broadway to the Last Bookstore. The vault on the first floor, coupled with the artistic book displays of the second floor offer a fun way to appreciate books.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
We have to give a shout out to all the independent wine shops in LA – Stanley’s Wet Goods, Helens, Silverlake Wines, Lady and Larder, Wine and Eggs, Milkfarm, Lou’s Wine Shop… just to name a few.
Our success is part of a collective effort with all of the passionate people behind these shops to raise awareness of small producers making natural wines. They have helped define the category and breathe some life into something that has become very mass and commercialized.