As we rush towards the opening of our newest venture I have been asked by a number of people “what made you decide to open a whisky shop”?  I therefore thought it would be fun to blog a mock interview with myself to explain all.

Mark (Interviewer):  So Mark please can you tell us a little bit about yourself and Jenni?

Mark (me):  Jenni and I live in Little Ann just south of Andover.  We have been married for over 14 years and have two amazing kids, Josie and William.  We own and run a software development house in Andover which we have built up over the past 8 years from team of 3 to 25.  Here we develop software for the Energy Market to help manage procurement risk.

Mark (Interviewer):  Wow so how come you are opening a Whisky shop?

Mark (me):  You could have asked me the same question when I stated the software company VuePoint Solutions – indeed people still do ask how I got in to Energy Trading software development.  I have spent nearly 20 years in the Army and when I retired I decided I would flow with the wind and try to make the best of whatever life threw me.  I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time and willing to take a risk, so bought out some software from my then employer to start my own company when the opportunity landed at my feet.  We grew that over the years to the point where I needed to get in a operations manager and sales director.  With these in the chair I became fairly redundant and so rather than annoy everyone by getting my long handled screw driver out and interfering I decided I needed to find something to keep me out of peoples’ hair.  I have always loved a wee dram, and as subaltern, before wife and kids, I had a fine collection of about thirty bottles to sup on of an evening and long held the desire of owning my own shop.  Jenni is far better suited to being a front of house person interacting with customers, rather than stuck in an office doing boring accounts, so perfect partnership and the thought of buying and tasting loads of whisky was just too strong to resist.  The hard part will be having to sell them.

Mark (Interviewer):   So have you been planning this for a long time?

Mark (me):  We first looked at it about 6 years ago, but quickly decided the only place we could make it work was in Stockbridge and there were no shops available at the time.  A few months ago Jenni stumbled across the old Business Case clearing out her emails and forwarded it to me.  That night at home Jenni dropped the Forum Magazine on the floor and it fell open on an advert for the shop for rent in Stockbridge.  I called the next day and discovered the potential lease had fallen through an hour earlier and the shop was once again available!  Some might call it fate, but having had a health scare earlier in the year, before Christmas, where I had a long stint in hospital with Sepsis, we decided we had to go for it.  So after dusting down the BC and bringing it up to date we decided unless we give it a go we would never know and that dream may never have been fulfilled.  At least if we give it a go and it fails then we gave it our best shot.

Mark (Interviewer):   So how is it panning out so far?

Mark (me):  We are just loving it.  Life is stupidly busy for both of us, running two companies, Jenni running a Cub pack and me coaching hockey at Andover along with the normal Mum/Dad taxi for the kids, but we just cannot wait to officially open the shop and start welcoming people in.

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