Logo Design: Sam Sharpe
Photography: Sam Sharpe, 151 For The Road
Mural and signboard facia: Jason Hawkridge
Point of sale, inventory management system, website: Sam Sharpe
Marketing materials: Sam Sharpe
During the summer of 2020 the team behind the Rose & Crown Kentish Town and the Brave Sir Robin Crouch Hill, two pubs I have done projects for since opening their first in 2014 approached me to help launch a new bottle shop in Walthamstow, London.
In late March 2020 the UK went into our first Covid-19 mitigation strategy which involved pausing normal trading and operation of the majority of hospitality businesses'. A potentially devastating situation, something of a Black Swan, Grey Rhino or Outside Context Problem for small and medium enterprises.
Both of the pubs were helped to stay afloat and safely trading within the legislation by swiftly creating contactless take-away and local delivery systems implemented via the websites and launching a fund raising drive in the form of gift cards which entitled customers supporting the businesses to generous discounts once venues were allowed customers back inside the premises. The gift cards raised over £10,000.
It was clearly probable in the summer of 2020 that Covid-19 would require further mitigation during the winter of 2020-2021. Due to this the team behind the pubs took out a lease on a retail premises on Forest Road in Walthamstow to open an independent craft beer bottle shop as this would be able to trade without the same restrictions as the pubs in the event of another pause in normal trading.
I was approached to design a logo and supporting visual identity elements, a website that enabled e-commerce, a point of sale and inventory management system and various items of packaging, merchandising and marketing materials.
The logo consists of the name of the business encapsulated in a 'growler' take-away beer container which I made as a 3D model with the typography deformed to fit inside.
The website, point of sale system and inventory management system were all designed and built around Square as this enabled good integration between customer facing and operational needs. One of the first and most important tasks was to implement a consistent inventory management structure to organise products for sale and categorise them for display on the website store. This required some customisation as the shop alongside selling bottles and cans of drinks also sells take-out pints and growlers which are sold from kegs of beer which needed metric and imperial conversion to accurately track available stock on hand. Operational efficiency was greatly aided by using Square point of sale as new items and suppliers can be easily added to the system and the website via the tablet used in the shop or via a web interface remotely. This gives the shop easy re-ordering and notification when stock levels for items are below defined levels.
I also designed various merchandise and marketing items and signage design for the signboard which sits on top of mural artwork by local Artist Jason Hawkridge.
From the outset of opening the bottle shop performed above financial forecasts with greater profit margins than the pubs due to lesser operational expenditure. This helped to support the pubs during the second UK lockdown from December 2021 to July 2022. The bottle shop has a 4.8 star rating on Google reviews and has built up a customer base who regularly come to buy the eclectic and diverse selection of drinks that you won't find in the supermarket.