A life of wine

09 March, 2007

Mitchells is possibly the most complete off-licence in the country, making a speciality of fine wine, eclectic spirits, interesting beers and even cigars. But it has never lost sight of the everyday value lines that customers demand.

John Mitchell was born in a room above the Meadowhead shop, then owned by his father Dennis. He left school in 1967 and joined the business full time as Sheffield's youngest licensee .

Despite a lifetime in the same shop, John remains absorbed and fascinated by his trade. "Being an independent retailer is a chall enge ," he says, "but selling is my passion. I'm a shopkeeper first ."

John's down-to-earth approach, his sense of humour and genuine love of his profession have earned him the friendship and respect of the trade. He is a worthy ambassador not just for the independent sector but for all drinks retailers.




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Richard Hemming MW asks: what’s the next step for indies?

In the not-too-distant future, when all humans are born with inbuilt VR headsets and Trump is Supreme Commander of the Known Universe, how will students of wine look back on the present era of retail in the UK? And, in such a dystopian world, why would anyone care?

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