Growing the wine market in Czech Republic
Hana Vrublová and Lenka Grygarová are new entrepreneurs with a passion for wine. In under two years, these ambitious women established a wine-selling business complete with their own e-shop and tasting events in Ostrava, Czech Republic. We talked to Hana and Lenka about their journey as first-time entrepreneurs, breaking into a competitive market and their growth plans.
1. How did you get the idea for your business?
We are both wine lovers and had a shared ambition to set up an e-shop selling wine. We had started working with Czech wine producers, but we were also interested in importing wine from Spain and Portugal.
Our international adventure began at a “business club” event organised by the Enterprise Europe Network in our region –Moravia Silesia in the east of the Czech Republic. From here, our local Enterprise Europe Network partner secured our participation in a company mission to La Rioja.
In Spain we established our first business cooperation with two Spanish family wineries: Ortega Ezquerro and Vallemayor S.L. This was just the beginning of our international business cooperation.
2. Are there any particular challenges for women entrepreneurs in this sector?
As women entrepreneurs, setting up our international business in the wine sector has been a positive experience and we have not faced any particular problems because of our gender.
Our main challenges have related to how we position ourselves in this very competitive sector. Rather than focusing on selling a high-volume with a low-price, we made the decision to import and deliver only quality products that we personally know. This also helps us to understand our customers.
The logistics of transporting wine from Spain to Czech Republic was also at first quite challenging, but we have managed to put a smooth process in place and are happy to see that Spanish wine is becoming increasingly popular in our region.
3. What are your plans for the future?
We are currently concentrating on raising our visibility and growing our local customer-base by organising events and wine tastings in the region. We are also considering widening our product range, but we will see what the future will bring.
The Enterprise Europe Network partner in Moravia, Regional Chamber of Commerce Moravia – Silesia, helped Hana and Lenka setup their company and broker two business deals with Spanish wineries.