Whalley wine shop owner Tom Jones celebrating after winning national award

A young Whalley businessman has been named Octopus Entrepreneur of the Year after being nominated by his MP.

By Bill Jacobs
Wednesday, 6th July 2022, 1:14 pm

Tom Jones has been given the award just seven months after his Whalley Wine Shop and Bar was judged ‘The Best Local Wine Shop in the Country’ by Decanter magazine.

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He and his business were nominated for the national prize by Ribble Valley MP Nigel Evans.

Whalley Wine Shop and Bar owner Tom Jones

In 2010, aged 24, Mr Jones was made redundant, following the closure of his previous employer, Threshers Off Licence.

Seeing the potential of the now empty site, Tom sought finance to buy the lease from the administrator and reopen it as The Whalley Wine Shop which turned over £450,000 in its first full year.

Mr Evans said: “Tom offers an inspirational story which can encourage everyone. Rather than being left despondent and beaten following bad news, Tom saw an opportunity to create a high-quality fine wine outlet and within five months his dream had become a reality.

“Over the next decade, The Whalley Wine Shop has become a magnet for locals and visitors.

“Even during a global pandemic, Tom saw an opportunity to look to their long-term strategy and explore how they could add something new and exciting for Whalley. This took form as a purpose designed wine bar with more seating and space, where customers can relax and enjoy themselves with high quality fine wine.

“It is no surprise to me that Tom was successful in winning this award and I would encourage everyone who hasn’t already been to add a visit to the Whalley Wine Shop and Bar to their to do list.”

Mr Jones said: “We were surprised and delighted in equal measure to be put forward by Mr Evans as the Ribble Valley nominee for the Octopus Entrepreneur awards. To have the cross-party Parliament and business judging panel pick us as winners is absolutely fantastic news! A real credit to the hard work that my wife Jen and the Whalley Wine Shop and Whalley Wine Bar teams put into the business day in and day out.

“We are just a small part of the thriving and dynamic business community that exists in the Ribble Valley.”