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Wine and spirits merchant Berry Bros & Rudd expand in Basingstoke
A WORLD-famous company that has deep roots in Basingstoke continues to grow and thrive in the town – investing around £6million in a decade.
Berry Bros & Rudd – one of Britain’s oldest and most prestigious wine merchants – has recently acquired a 35,000 sq ft building next door to its current Houndmills offices, warehouse and popular Bin End Shop.
The company’s headquarters and flagship store is still in London’s St James’ Street, where the business was established in 1698.
Operations director Keith Procter is delighted with the refurbished Gemini premises, in Hamilton Close, which was acquired through commercial property agents London Clancy.
He said this is the third site the company now operates from in Basingstoke, with the second at Gateway House, in Wade Road.
Keith said the family-owned business has invested around £6m in Basingstoke over the past 10 years – with between £2m to £3m being invested at Gemini.
He is clearly proud of the company that has been bucking the recent tough economic climate.
Keith said the company’s original 1960s Hamilton Road warehouse had been extended several times, and along with Gateway House, both sites are used to store around three million bottles of wine each.
“Most of what we store isn’t owned by us – it’s owned by our customers,” explained Keith.
“It’s what we call customer private reserves. What we are talking about is fine wine, much of which takes a while to mature, which is left in store with us.
“We acquired Gateway House in 2008, because we were struggling with space at our Hamilton Road warehouse. But it has filled up very quickly and for the last two years, we have once again been struggling for space. Gemini will give us space for approximately another two million bottles.”
Keith readily admits that he would have preferred a building offering larger capacity.
“Under normal circumstances, I probably would have gone for something a little bit bigger than Gateway,” said Keith. “But the reason for choosing Gemini is because it’s sitting next door to us.”
Just like the other warehouses, the completely refurbished Gemini facility, which earlier this year was vacated by removal firm Harveys, is now fully temperature and humidity controlled.
With around 110 people being employed by Berry Bros & Rudd in Basingstoke, Keith said Gemini will also provide some additional office space, where around 20 to 30 people will work, mostly relocating from the older Hamilton Road base.
“One of the rationales for taking next door was that we will be able to offer visitor facilities, which include a state-of-the-art tasting room, where we will be proud to entertain customers, suppliers and visitors in general.”
Much of the refurbishment work has been carried out by local contractors, including Champion Group, Skilz and T-SQUARED.