Wake Up With: Ben Dawes The Man Behind Marlo Wines - Baz & Co Skincare

Wake Up With: Ben Dawes The Man Behind Marlo Wines

Discover Marlo Wines - The Perfect Blend of Family, Passion, and Exceptional Wines for Father's Day

“Our business is built on offering excellent personal service and curating exceptional wine lists, ensuring our customers keep coming back.”

In case you’ve been living under a rock, Marlo Wines is the go-to for fine wine delivered right to your door. Co-founded by Ben Dawes, Marlo Wines offers a curated selection of exceptional wines perfect for any occasion, including Father's Day. But what's the story behind the man who brought this concept to life? Let's learn about his daily routine, family life, and the inspiration behind his business.

 Morning Routine

"My mornings typically kick off at 6am, thanks to my early-rising children. During the week, I aim to be out of the house by 6.30am to get a head start on the day. Those early hours in the office are my most productive, especially with a double espresso to set the mood. On weekends, things slow down a bit. We enjoy family walks on Wimbledon Common and visits to the local Farmers Market once the kids' homework is out of the way.

Family Life

Balancing work and family life is crucial for me. Starting work early allows me to be home earlier to help with the kids' activities. The pandemic made me realise the importance of being present at home. Now, I'm usually back in time to ferry the kids to their clubs and classes, and I can still handle work calls to America while putting the kids to bed. Being my boss allows me to attend school events and sports days, which is a huge bonus.

Wine Business Insights

My wife and I co-founded Marlo Wines, named after our children, Milo and Margot. We saw a gap in the market for fine wine delivered to your door, which we launched just before lockdown. We were satisfying a need, particularly for rosé, when people couldn't leave their homes. My experience running Richard Dawes Fine Wine, a traditional wine merchant, for over 15 years gave me insights into what consumers wanted. Younger people were interested in fine wine but found it inaccessible, so Marlo was designed to offer single bottles for delivery. It's also perfect for gifting, with beautifully wrapped bottles and personalised notes.

Wine Selection

Our strong relationships with suppliers worldwide set us apart. These connections have taken years to build, allowing us to offer rare and desirable wines that aren't easily accessible. Wine makers appreciate Marlo because it connects consumers directly with the fruits of their labor, rather than having wines sit in cellars for years.

Industry Trends

Sustainability is a significant trend in the wine industry. We've moved away from plastic packaging to more eco-friendly options like Flexi-Hex, and our customers value this commitment to greener practices. At Richard Dawes Fine Wine, we're shipping new releases with innovative packaging, such as wooden boxes surrounded by wool from Bordeaux producers. It's a first in the industry, and our clients love it.

Personal Favourites

I've been spending a lot of time exploring wines from the Northern Rhone. This region offers incredible value and quality, particularly in St. Joseph and Crozes Hermitage. While Burgundy is a personal favourite, Bordeaux stands out as my top region for its consistency and excellence. I always recommend that new customers start their wine journey with Bordeaux.

Business Philosophy

Our business is built on offering excellent personal service. We aim to build strong customer relationships, providing valuable advice and curating exceptional wine lists. This personal touch ensures that our customers keep coming back.

Challenges and Successes

One of our biggest challenges has been managing growth and rising costs. Marlo grew quickly, requiring more staff and a larger warehouse. To scale effectively, we moved to a fulfilment company, which was tough but necessary. It's all about compromise and finding ways to grow sustainably.

Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

Gain as much experience as possible. Work from the bottom up and learn every trick of the trade. Studying for your WSET and experiencing a harvest can deepen your appreciation and understanding of wine. Passion is essential, but practical knowledge and experience are crucial.

Family Involvement

We'd love for our children to be involved in the business if they wish. Last October, we took them on a road trip to Bordeaux and San Sebastián to expose them to the wine trade. They help out during holidays and at Christmas when we pack hampers. The business is theirs for the taking if they want it, but there's no pressure. Both my wife and I grew up with parents who ran their own businesses, and we understand the virtues of being included in the day-to-day operations.

Future Goals

We aim to develop some own-brand products under Marlo Wines. Our customers trust our choices, so it makes sense to offer MARLO house wines."

 At BAZ & CO, we LOVE their easy to use webshop and carefully curated selection. For 20% off, use code BAZ20 at checkout. Perfect for a Father's Day gift!