It is a privilege to work with some of the finest wines in the world, for the people who appreciate them. Our mission is to make every part of this experience enjoyable. Our team is knowledgeable, unpretentious and passionate about fine wine, and we’re proud to steward one of Britain’s longest standing fine wine portfolios since 1854.
Katy joined Lay & Wheeler in January 2016 and became Managing Director in the summer of the same year. Previously, she ran the service development team at onefinestay, a UK-based hospitality startup, for four years, after a year at the wine sale site Lot18 in New York City. She holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and an AB from Princeton University, where she majored in French and Italian. Between university and graduate school, she was a Fulbright Scholar in Italy studying artisan cheese. She also holds a WSET Diploma, having graduated with merit.
David arrived in November 2019 to head up the newly formed Finance department as part of Lay & Wheeler’s independence under new ownership. David was previously the Finance Director at The Edward Alexander Group and most recently lead a recovery and growth project as Finance and Operations Director of its subsidiary, Gainsborough, established in 1903 and holder of a Royal Warrant. He also has deep experience in financial accounting, reporting and controls. David holds a 2008 QBE - Part Qualified ACA. Outside of work, David has a young family, enjoying travel, culture and wine!
Laura grew up in the United States and settled in the UK in 2019. She holds a BA in Education from the University of Montana, a Masters in Social Studies from the University of Georgia, and an EdS in Educational Leadership from the University of North Georgia, which contributed to her experience teaching history, writing curriculums, and coaching. When she moved to the UK, she achieved a Diplôme de Pâtisserie from Le Cordon Bleu, and opened her own pastry business. When not at work, Laura can be found kayaking, walking her dog, playing tennis and baking French pastries. She loves English sparkling wine paired with local oysters.
While studying French and Spanish at Newcastle University, Alice spent 6 industrious months at Ch. Haut-Bailly, where her love of wine was ignited. After a year at Majestic, she moved to Berry Bros. & Rudd, for a spell in their St James’s shop before switching focus to London institutions and corporate sales. She joined Lay & Wheeler in September 2020. She is one step from completing the WSET Diploma. She loves walking the South West coast path (with a good Riesling), swimming the cold seas of East Devon and, naturally, wine. Bordeaux and German Riesling remain her first loves but she also has a soft spot for all things fortified.
After graduating from Imperial University, Adrian worked as a geologist before realising his passion lay in wine. He joined Oddbins for just over a year and then moved to the independent fine wine merchant La Vigneronne in South Kensington, later purchased by James Handford MW and renamed Handford Wines. After five years, Adrian went to Corney & Barrow on the private client side before joining Lay & Wheeler in 2007. He’s worked with private clients here since, taking a particular interest in Burgundy, Bordeaux and the finest examples of Riesling. Adrian completed the WSET Diploma in 2001.
Will joined our team in July 2011, having spent eleven years within the Majestic group proir to Lay&Wheeler. He began his career in wine at the Brighton store before moving up as manager between the Guildford, East Grinstead, Reigate, Chichester stores. Will completed the WSET Level 3 in 2001 and has nearly completed the WSET Diploma. With deep knowledge of our entire wine portfolio, Will is a frequent guest of honour at client wine tastings, known as something of a jack of all trades. However, he particularly enjoys Italian wines, especially Tuscany. Outside the office, Will is an avid cyclist.
Paula came to Lay & Wheeler in 2006, having travelled the world for a year after university and having worked in Leeds for several years. Paula completed the WSET Diploma in 2014, and has developed quite a nose for Burgundy and Bordeaux, both regions where she has spent some time. More recently, Paula took some time out to be with her new daughter, Lily, and is just beginning to spend more time back in the office.
Victoria joined us in 2003 after working in the IT sector in Cambridge, having first graduated with a psychology degree and worked for a local wine merchant where she developed a love of wine. Victoria joins us several days a week, whilst also looking after three young boys. Her favourite regions are the Rhone, Languedoc and the Loire, as well as Champagne. In her spare time, she runs, plays the piano and is learning to play the cello.
After seventeen years working within the hospitality industry, the past twelve of which were spent managing the wine programme at a local award-winning pub and wine store, Sam decided to pursue his interest in fine wine at Lay & Wheeler as a wine advisor. His love of fine wine extends beyond the usual suspects like Burgundy into Alsace, New Zealand and in particular, Spain, as he spent nearly two years working there. He has completed the WSET Level 3 course. Away from the office he enjoys a spot of fly fishing for trout, cooking and forever trying to teach himself the guitar.
Rosie grew up just outside Paris and spent family holidays in the Burgundy and Rhône wine regions of France. During her university year abroad, she studied at Bordeaux Montaigne University, it was here that she decided to pursue a career in the wine industry. Following graduation, she worked as an Account Manager at FINE+RARE, before trying her hand working at a wine and spirits start-up. Realising she wanted to work at a more established (160+ year old) company where Rosie is now a Fine Wine Advisor. Rosie loves red wine from Tuscany and the Rhone, as well as Chablis. She is currently completing her WSET 3 and plans on doing her diploma!
Originally from Suffolk, Katie completed a degree in fashion journalism at the University for the Creative Arts before finding her way into wine. She first worked for Marco Pierre White, and then Majestic, where she completed the WSET Diploma. She’s now a fine wine advisor. When she’s not cooking or discovering local restaurants, she’s likely visiting family in France or enjoying a spin class. Katie refuses to name her favourite wine (she couldn’t pick just one), but has a soft spot for all things sparkling: pour her a glass of Champagne, Cava, English sparkling wine or Franciacorta and she’s happy.
Alec holds a degree in Geography at Edinburgh University which he completed with the dissertation “The Rise of Rosé Wine”, and so began his career in wine. He worked for Champagne Louis Roederer, Amathus Drinks, Champagne Lanson, Berry Bros. & Rudd and as a Brand Ambassador for Nyetimber prior to joining us as a fine wine advisor. Outside of Lay & Wheeler, Alec enjoys spending time with his wife and chasing his young son with their Border Terrier, and the occasional trip to the pub to watch Arsenal. While Alec’s love of sparkling wines is clear from his career, he also greatly enjoys Burgundy, the Northern Rhône and Spain.
In 2004, Karen joined Lay & Wheeler to manage fine wine trading. She had been working as the General Manager of a small Welsh vineyard, with responsibility for everything from production to the commercial side, which included selling their wine to the House of Commons. Karen completed the WSET Level 3 in 2013. She specialises in Bordeaux and Burgundy, and when she’s not helping to sell wine on behalf of our customers, she’s likely enjoying a good bottle of Bordeaux with her family, or perhaps on a trip to her favorite wine region, the Côte de Beaune.
Born in the UK, Sharron was educated in South Africa and has lived in eight countries. This drove her interest in food and wine, and to undertake the WSET Diploma. Prior to Lay & Wheeler, she ran her own wine and cheese shop called The Cheddar Vine, where she also hosted tastings as an official WSET Educator. She’s now a member of the Private Clients team. Sharron loves the outdoors, and her hobbies include skiing, golf, yoga and, when the opportunity allows, scuba diving. Indulging in a spot of baking is her favourite way to de-stress, and she’d drink white Burgundy every day if she could.
Prior to joining Lay & Wheeler, Stuart spent 16 years at Berry Bros. and Rudd, during which he worked in a number of operational roles before becoming Head of Supply Chain in 2019. Stuart has a keen interest in personal development and in 2020 completed his CILT Professional Diploma in Transport and Logistics. He also holds the WSET Level 2. Outside of work, Stuart is based in Hampshire where he lives with his young family and spends the majority of his weekends coaching his son's football team and being out in the countryside on family dog walks.
Dom joined our team to manage our fine wine warehouse, following more than a decade experience managing warehouses in the local area, managing teams across multiple sites. He’s also adding WSET Level 2 to his belt as he discovers his love of fine wine. When he’s not busy managing the warehouse team, he’s likely watching Formula 1 racing or enjoying a car show. Dom is a big Liverpool football fan, and he loves spending time with his wife, and two boys.
Kyle joined our warehouse team armed with a forklift licence, a combilift certification, and extensive experience gained at Felixstowe docks. He’s now embarked on his WSET Level 2 to broaden his wine knowledge. When he’s not busy carefully handling our clients’ fine wine, he enjoys boxing, playing football and working out in the gym. He hasn’t settled on a favourite wine yet - he is enjoying sampling the range at Lay & Wheeler.
Tamara joined our team in June 2015, where she applies her previous experience with shipping products and stock control at Lay & Wheeler, tracking and managing the whereabouts of our wines. Tamara is also studying for the WSET Level 3 qualification. Her favourite bottle is a Romanian wine, Princess Cadarca Reserve, one she enjoys most with roasted lamb and homemade green pesto with mint. Outside of the office, Tamara is studying for an honours degree in maths, though you’re also likely to find her on a bike or in her garden.
Originally from the United States, Elliot joined in August 2021 as a Supply Chain Coordinator. As a self-proclaimed wine nerd, Elliot is always eager to learn and is currently studying for their WSET L2. Their favourite wine region is Spain, as their tenure at a Spanish wine bar is what sparked their love and passion for wine. When Elliot isn’t watching over customer reserves, they can be found tending their garden with family or embarking on their latest sewing project.
An Ipswich local, Will is part of our warehouse team who ensure the careful handling of all of our fine wines. He has a degree in Sports Science from St. Mary’s in Twickenham, and his love of fitness is clear from his hobbies: hitting the gym and swimming. Before he joined Lay & Wheeler, he was co-director of catering and a lifeguard. He has discovered a love of wine since joining, but is also partial to a good single malt whisky.
John graduated with honours from the University of Nottingham with a BSc in Chemistry in 2015. During that time and after university, he worked at the Sun Inn in Dedham and Church Street Tavern in Colchester, establishments known for their excellent wine lists. John joined Lay & Wheeler in January 2017 to assist in operations, including stock movement and management, before moving into buying team. He made the move back to operations in 2021, and completed the WSET Diploma in the same year.
Keeley joined Lay & Wheeler in July 2021 as Shipping Coordinator. Her previous experience in office management roles has included a stint in the optical industry and as head of logistics for the MOD and CarillonAmey. She graduated from the University of Bedfordshire in 2012 and now lives in Clacton on Sea. Outside of work, she can be found competing in the Suffolk FA Women’s Premier Division as a player-manager for Holland Ladies Football Club. She is a qualified football coach and is particularly keen to coach girls aged 5-12 to help them get into the sport.
Tom lived in rural Lithuania until he was 10, when he embarked on a roadtrip with his parents which took him from Šiauliai all the way to Newmarket. Holding a Level 2 Hospitality Diploma, he worked as a chef before joining Lay & Wheeler as within our operations team. He’s enjoying discovering more about the world of fine wine, especially as winemakers bring their wines to our office. His hobbies range from training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to working on his allotment and making all kinds of fruit wines. He’s a big fan of Spanish wines, aged German Riesling, and Beaujolais.
Ella Harrold joined Lay & Wheeler having had prior experience with UK Customs Solutions as well as in hospitality, and having completed two diplomas in beauty and travel. As a member of our operations team, Ella’s work helps ensure the smooth running of our supply chain. In her spare time, she’s a fitness advocate, enjoys travel, and also appreciates spending plenty of time with her family or indulging in a nice meal with friends at the pub. Her favourite wine region is New Zealand.
After graduating from the University of Cambridge, Robbie worked in Majestic stores in the southeast for nine months. He joined the team at L&W in 2014, initially responsible for marketing, and was promoted to Buyer at the end of 2016. Robbie completed the WSET Diploma in 2019, winning a scholarship, and is now working towards the Master of Wine. He’s responsible for buying all regions aside from those covered by Catherine or Beth, focusing on Italy and South Africa, as well as merchandising. In his spare time, Robbie enjoys sport and lives on a working farm in East Sussex. He also speaks near fluent French and passable Italian.
Catherine joined Lay & Wheeler in January 2020 as French wine buyer, responsible for all the country’s wines, excluding Bordeaux. She became a Master of Wine in 2017 with a research paper on Sancerre, where she had spent two vintages making wine. She has also made wine in Bordeaux, Friuli, Australia and New Zealand, and has done six vintages in Burgundy, including one full year working in the vineyards and cellar as assistant winemaker at Domaine Comte Armand. Previously she was a buyer at Goedhuis & Co. Read about Catherine's time in Burgundy, published in the World of Fine Wine, here.
Beth joined in September 2021 as buyer for Bordeaux, Spain & Portugal, North & South America, Australia & New Zealand, and spirits. Prior to that she spent 5 years in the buying team at Majestic Wine, following a further 5 years managing Majestic stores in the South West. She became a Master of Wine in February 2020 and in September 2021 won the ‘Outstanding Young Person’ award at the Vintner’s Company. Beth would choose to spend her own money on classics like Bordeaux and Northern Rhône, but has the biggest soft spot for wines and producers from New Zealand. Outside of work, Beth would always prefer to be by the sea - in the UK or abroad.
Fiona studied French at The University of Manchester, spending a year abroad in Burgundy at the Université du Dijon. Inspired by the vineyards there, after graduation, she joined wine importer Berkmann Wine Cellars. She then joined another importer, Fields, Morris & Verdin, owned by Berry Bros. & Rudd, as a Buying Assistant before becoming a buyer for both European and New World wines. Having achieved the WSET Diploma, she is studying for the Master of Wine. She enjoys pilates, running, and spending time with her family and two young daughters. Her favourite region is Germany, but she also loves exploring wines off the beaten track.
Prior to joining Lay & Wheeler in July 2021, Jeffrey worked for nearly a decade in hospitality. After qualifying as a sommelier in Spain, he started working in top restaurants across England, Scotland, and Norway. His previous role was as sommelier at the renowned Maaemo restaurant in Oslo, Norway. He has since moved to Colchester where outside of work, he can be found reading, supporting Hibernian FC, and drinking Pinot Noir (often simultaneously). In addition to his native English, he speaks Spanish, Italian, and Norwegian.
Jemma joined in July 2021 as a Buying Coordinator. She graduated with honours from the University of Strathclyde in International Business and Modern Languages, and speaks French and German. She then spent several years working in the financial services sector. A career change led to an MSc in Gastronomy, work experience at a winery in the Mosel Valley in Germany and at a Scottish Whisky distillery before joining Majestic Wine as a trainee manager. She completed her WSET Level 3 and is now studying for her Diploma. When not working, Jemma can be found up a Munro, on her bike or discovering new food and wine on her travels.
Having studied Classics at the University of Durham, Steffan joined Berry Bros & Rudd where he organised and hosted events for private and corporate customers. He then worked at English wine producer Nyetimber as their Brand Ambassador, before joining Lay & Wheeler in September 2020. Steffan has held the WSET Diploma since 2017. Born into a world of wine, he grew up visiting vineyards at an age where he was unable to take full advantage of their produce, which is thankfully no longer an issue. A keen traveller and lover of the arts, Steffan’s wine tastes lean fairly classical but he has a particular soft spot for great South African wines
Ousi’s career began in tech, though after two harvests in California and courses in viticulture and enology, she followed her passion into wine. She worked for six years at the US-based retailer Flatiron Wines, in a range of marketing and buying roles, before joining us. She holds a MSc from the London School of Economics and a B.A. from Wellesley College in Psychology. Ousi stays active outdoors climbing mountains and indoors with crosswords and cooking. Her favourite wine is grower champagne, and she worked the 2022 harvest there. Ousi holds the WSET Diploma.
Issy joined in the autumn of 2016 after experience in hospitality, having worked at the Orwell Hotel in Felixstowe and at the Felixstowe Ferry Golf Club. Her role spans all activities that ensure our customers and their wines are cared for, and that we go above and beyond to deliver the best possible service. Issy has a preference for New World reds like the wines of Penfolds, a good Pinot Noir and sparkling wines. Issy has completed the WSET Level 3, passing with merit. When not at work, she’s likely to be walking her labrador, Dora, on the beach, or enjoying a good meal with her friends.
Pauline has been at Lay and Wheeler since April of 2008, after working in the public sector. Initially taking on roles in administration and human resources, today Pauline works in customer care and also helps to manage the needs of the office. Pauline enjoys good white Burgundy or a glass of Bouvet. When not at work she can be found spending time with her family and two young children, often on a family bike ride or run.
In January 2017, Ksenia became part of the Customer Care team. Ksenia brings with her experience in hospitality, working in and managing several restaurants. She also has several years’ experience as a personal banker at Lloyds TSB Bank. Ksenia has begun to learn more about fine wine since joining the team and enjoys our regular tasting. Outside the office, Ksenia is most likely spending time with her young daughter. Ksenia has completed the WSET Level 2, passing with distinction.
Before joining Lay & Wheeler Sam spent 16 years in a role supporting young people and their families. Ready for a career change, Sam was keen to learn more about wine at Lay & Wheeler, joining us in 2018 as a customer care advisor. She completed the WSET Level 2 course in 2019 and is also a qualified reflexologist. Outside of the office, Sam enjoys eating out, cooking and going to gigs.
Natalie joined our Customer Care team in June 2021, having moved from a technical customer support role. She’s looking forward to learning more about the world of fine wines as she already has a keen interest in food and cooking. When she’s not working she enjoys going out on long walks with her dog as well as spending time with friends & family.
Kelly joined Lay & Wheeler in July 2021 as Head of Financial Planning and Analysis. She holds an Accounting and Financial Management BSC degree from Loughborough University and is a Chartered Accountant (FCA), qualified from KPMG. She has worked in several industries in a finance capacity, including Construction, Healthcare and Marine. She brings with her experience in M&A activity, audit and compliance, forecasting, coaching and development, and business start-ups. Outside of the office she enjoys long forest walks with her Boxer dog, travelling to new places around the world, skiing, interior design and dancing.
Sarka previously worked in marketing in London. Originally from the Czech Republic, she studied business at university there before moving to England in 2002.
She’s managed responsibilities in finance at Lay & Wheeler since 2011, and previously was at Majestic Wine from 2007. Outside the office, she enjoys rowing, snowboarding, cycling and looking after her son Alex and daughter Helen.
Joni joined Lay & Wheeler in September 2020 as Finance Assistant. Originating from South Africa, she moved to Wales before settling in England in 2017. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in community and health psychology, but soon realised her passion for numbers and is busy studying towards her AAT qualification. When she is not in the office or studying, she enjoys reading a good book or spending time in nature.
Agnes is originally from Warsaw, Poland but now calls Colchester her home. She has a Masters in Management in Tourism, her AAT Level 2 accounting qualification, and is working towards the next level. Her work experience has taken her from the travel industry to administration, working for logistics companies and customs, all contributing to her role now within our finance team. Outside of Lay & Wheeler, Agnes loves to travel and explore new places, but her favourite pastime is spending time with her children and their dog. She’s busy learning everything she can about wine so is not ready to commit to a favourite, yet.
Rick began working at Lay & Wheeler over Christmas, when Lay & Wheeler had a shop in Colchester in 1995. He returned to work there during university holidays while at the University of East Anglia, and worked the harvest at Rauzan-Segla in Bordeaux, too. Upon graduation, Rick joined the team full time, initially responsible for managing tastings, before assuming responsibility for technical support. Today, Rick manages our website and the technology behind it. With a self-professed sweet tooth, Rick’s favorite wine is Tokaji Essenzia. A devoted father, Rick spends his time outside the office with his two daughters.