A couple hope to share their passion for Italian wine and food with Horsham in their new shop which opened in the heart of the town last week.
Charles Dark and Sheila Simpson opened the Horsham Enoteca in the Carfax on Friday where they are offering a large range of bottled wines as well as hams, salami, cheeses, and other Italian produce.
As well bottled wines they will have six single-estate wines straight from the producer on draught where customers can fill up a bottle from £5.50 upwards.
Charles said: “It will be fun to share our passion. People stop and talk and it’s been great.
“Since we have been here we have started to get recognised and people have asked us what we are doing here.”
The couple previously ran a successful restaurant in Wales and became so bored with the wine offering they started imported their own, and were voted as having the best wine list in the UK.
Having spent the last 30 years living and working in Italy on and off, they have fallen in love with the country’s wine and food.
Charles added: “We looked for some months to find the right place to do this and slightly stumbled on Horsham and thought it was magic.
“The location is fantastic and we love the town.”
He explained that in Italy wines are picked to go with food, and they hoped to show on any bottle what food it is good to drink with.
They have around 100 wines to start with, but will gradually increase their range, and are inviting anyone with or without a knowledge of wine to come and visit them.
Sheila said they would be offering some pantry ingredients and would be drawing up some simple recipe cards.
She added: “It’s nice because the thing is if you are a social sort of person being in contact with people is great fun. If you give something they enjoy or sharing a passion it’s a very fun and enjoyable thing.”
Charles added: “We think this will work and if does we will do it again but this is going to be the mothership.”
The couple have opened the shop with Lisa Costello and Domenico Cafarchia.