Lucy Reynolds – Wines by the Sea

Having worked in retail for most of her career, Lucy Reynolds made a decision to set up her own wine business in Southsea….

“Working at home, gave me the opportunity to think about what I wanted to do with my life, and it became obvious that my passion for wine, developed from my travels, was something that allowed me to combine my interests and potentially become a profitable business,”


Her aim was to create a shop that specialises in wine but also sells other good quality alcoholic beverages which are not available in every supermarket. Her background in corporate marketing production in London, meant that she had many of the skills required in running her own business and initially she set up an Instagram page where she shared her favourite wines and provided reviews utilising her new-found confidence and knowledge.

Lucy realised that she needed to develop her business skills if she was to set up her own business and she took courses supported by Portsmouth City Council, including the Outset Start and Grow Portsmouth programme.

“The Outset & Abri Create teams were really helpful, assisting me to apply for a grant, refining my ideas and giving me the skills I needed as a start-up,”


Having received her grant from the Outset Start and Grow programme, Lucy used the funds to purchase equipment such as the racking and signage for her shop, Wines by the Sea, which she opened in April this year.

“I would heartily recommend the programme to other people thinking of starting a business as it not only helps you to develop your business knowledge, but also provides an opportunity for networking with other businesses which has been invaluable to me”


Lucy provides customers with a specialist service helping them pair wine with food as well as suggestions for celebratory occasions, gifts plus wine tasting events. Her buying policy is focused on stocking great products for good prices and also stocks some lines from local businesses such as Three Choirs Vineyard in Wickham and Tinwood Estate. She also stocks a great selection of local beers and spirits.

“I wanted to create a platform to encourage customers to buy locally as we have some fantastic products right on our doorstep.

Business has been really good so far, following a launch event which really brought the initial sales in, which I am hoping to build on,”


Lucy is planning to draw customers in with striking themed window displays to highlight seasonal trends in wine drinking. She is working with other local businesses as part of the Shop Local Campaign and wants to help people to enjoy the great range of wines now available through her store.

To find out more about Wines by the Sea, follow Lucy on Instagram and Facebook