There are many elements to a successful liquor retail business, coming both from the store itself and from the skills of the people running it. 

Becoming a liquor store owner isn’t easy, and neither is what comes after that – building and maintaining a successful store. Steven Dinnell knows the ins and outs of both, after building his retail career from the ground up to become the owner of his first store, Porter’s Liquor in St Ives Village, just a few years ago. So strong was his debut to the owner role, that he took out the Retail Drinks Industry Award for Liquor Store Owner of the Year just over a year after he became the owner.

Ahead of the Retail Drinks Industry Awards for 2021, National Liquor News caught up with Dinnell to hear about his secrets to success when it comes to owning a liquor store.

Dinnell talked about the lessons he had learned while rising through the ranks of the industry, starting as a casual and working up to become manager and ultimately owner. Through this he has not only developed an understanding of running the business, but also built a wide knowledge about the industry at large, thus being able to predict where will be the biggest areas of opportunity in the coming years.

Prior to becoming store owner, Dinnell was also nominated as Young Liquor Retailer of the Year earlier in his career. From the start he has been committed to learning and growing, and that has been helped along with the guidance of his mentors, which Dinnell says is important for anyone starting out in the industry.

When he was named as Liquor Store Owner of the Year at the most recent Retail Drinks Industry Awards in 2019, Dinnell said he was surprised – he didn’t expect to win so soon after becoming store owner. He said the awards are so important for the industry to have something to aim for, and to come out triumphant on the night is the ultimate recognition from your industry peers that you’re going down the right track.

You can hear more about Dinnell’s experience in the video below.



Brydie Allen

Brydie Allen is the Editor of National Liquor News. She has been with Food and Beverage Media since 2019, when she joined the company as a journalist across National Liquor News, Bars & Clubs, The...

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