Freddy Bulmer joined the buying team in September 2015 having originally moved down from Yorkshire to work in Member Services as a Christmas temp in 2013. Freddy is responsible for Austria, Eastern Europe, England, as well as being buyer for beer, cider and accessories.
How did you first get into wine?
It was a bit of a happy accident really. I was working in a wine bar in drizzly North Yorkshire while at college and heard of a chap who had recently started a very small, independent wine merchants and who was looking for an apprentice. I thought it sounded as though it might be interesting and, encouraged by my dad who has always been very keen on wine, applied for the job.
Where did you work before The Wine Society?
I worked for a couple of independent merchants in North Yorkshire; Firth & Co and Yorkshire Vintners, before joining the Member Services department at The Wine Society, where I worked for two years before applying for the position of trainee buyer. I used to write the odd article for a local paper in Yorkshire and through that became friends with Laura Vickers who asked if I could write for her blog site. Laura was working at The Wine Society at the time so I asked her to let me know if any vacancies came up. She told me about the Christmas temp jobs and within three weeks I had packed a suitcase and taken the train south, camping out with friends until I got settled.
Have there been any big surprises since transferring to the buying department?
Not especially, though one of the real pleasures has been getting to know Pierre Mansour better; he's my line manager and I've enjoyed finding out more about the role through him and working with him. The role is pretty busy, but that's what I expected and I like to be busy!
Any particular aspirations for your role?
My dream is to one day buy from Italy, but we have a rather good chap who does that at the moment! I have just started an Italian language course this year and I have family in Italy, so there are no excuses. Whichever region or regions I end up buying from, I hope to one day become a respected specialist.
What are your responsibilities within the buying team?
I am currently in charge of co-ordinating the cross-regional offers, which contain wines from a number of different buyers, along with the selection of wines for Wine Without Fuss. I will also set up, attend and run the Wine Champions tastings too, which is a mammoth task. Otherwise I shadow the other buyers and try to pick as much as I can.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I am a keen cyclist and enjoy music and cooking.
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