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: beware inverse snobbery

Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle ľ which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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