Meet our team

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.

Our Team

  • Katy Keating (née Andersen)
    Managing Director
    Tel: +44 (0) 7736 456 987

    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 Payne
    Head of Sales
    Tel: +44 (0)1473 313 214

    David discovered his passion for fine wine at Chatsworth House in Derbyshire where he was butler to the 11th Duke of Devonshire and Deborah Mitford, the then Duchess and their family. Having served wine to luminaries such as Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales, he took this excellent apprenticeship to London where he began a 24-year career in both retail and direct wine sales. Having sold wines in Spain, Italy, Germany, China, Hong Kong and South Africa, David joined us in the spring of 2016 to lead our fine wine advisory and customer care teams.

Wine Advisory

  • Adrian Heaven
    Senior Wine Advisor
    Tel: +44 (0)1473 313 241

    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 Hepworth
    Fine Wine Advisor
    Tel: +44 (0)1473 313 257

    When Will joined our team in July 2011, he was familiar with the Majestic family having spent eleven years within the group. 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 Hunter
    Fine Wine Advisor
    Tel: +44 (0)1473 313 207

    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.

  • Karen Graves
    Fine Wine Trading
    Tel: +44 (0)1473 313 259

    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.

  • Victoria Chaplin
    Fine Wine Advisor
    Tel: +44 (0)1473 313 207

    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.

  • Sam Cunliffe
    Fine Wine Advisor
    Tel: +44 (0)1473 313 215

    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 completed the WSET Level 2 exams with Distinction in 2006 and looks forward to beginning Level 3.  Away from the office he enjoys a spot of fly fishing for trout, cooking and forever trying to teach himself the guitar.

  • Madelaine Riley
    Fine Wine Advisor
    Tel: +44 (0)1473 313 228

    After studying Arabic and French at Oxford, Madelaine worked as a corporate lawyer at Slaughter & May before hearing the call of the wine trade. She spent a couple of years working for a Manchester wine merchant prior to joining Lay & Wheeler in 2018. She passed the WSET level three with distinction and is looking forward to beginning the Diploma programme. When not talking about wine, she can generally be found in an art gallery, or travelling around some of the less visited parts of the world.

  • Iestyn Hooper
    Fine Wine Discovery Club Manager
    Tel: +44 (0)1473 313 217

    After nineteen years at Pieroth Wines, a family wine business with a history in wine stretching back over three centuries, Iestyn joined Lay & Wheeler in October 2016. Prior to a career in wine, Iestyn had experience in hospitality, including responsibility for the wine list at a small, privately held hotel. This exposure piqued his interest, and he has worked in wine ever since. Today, he manages the Fine Wine Discovery Club and looks after these members.

  • Tarka Collins
    Fine Wine Discovery Club Advisor
    Tel: +44 (0)1473 313 243

    Tarka came to Lay & Wheeler in the autumn of 2016, after four and a half years working at Pieroth Wines, a family wine business with a history in wine stretching back over three centuries. During university in Cirencester, Tarka took a course in wine in her final year, and fell in love with it. After graduating with honours, she completed the WSET level 2 and joined Pieroth. Today, Tarka is working to complete the WSET level 3 programme, while also studying for a Bachelor of the Arts degree in English Literature. Her favourite style of wine is Amarone, though has been fortunate to enjoy aged Bordeaux from her family’s cellar.


Customer Care

  • Issy Cooper
    Customer Care Manager
    Tel: +44 (0)1473 313 224

    Issy joined Lay & Wheeler 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 at Lay & Wheeler 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. When not at work, she’s likely to be walking her labradoodle on the beach nearby, or enjoying a good meal with her friends. Issy has completed the WSET Level 2, passing with distinction.


  • Pauline Barr
    Customer Care Advisor
    Tel: +44 (0)1473 313 203

    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. She has completed the first two levels of the WSET  and enjoys good white Burgundy. Pauline enjoys spending time with her family and young son, and is an avid runner, having completed the London Marathon in 2012.

  • Sharon Foxwell
    Customer Care Advisor
    Tel: +44 (0)1473 313 203

    After graduating from Canterbury Christ Church University, Sharon spent many years working overseas in Europe, Asia and Africa teaching both maths and English. While abroad, she also ran training programmes predominantly within the oil industry. It’s from both this exposure to other countries and cultures, as well as a course at university, that sparked her interest in food and wine. In her spare time, Sharon enjoys reading and listening to podcasts on food and drink, and trying out new recipes. Sharon has completed the WSET Level 2, passing with distinction.

  • Ksenia Hammerton
    Customer Care Advisor
    Tel: +44 (0)1473 313 255

    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.

  • Sam Wenzel
    Customer Care Advisor
    Tel: +44 (0)1473 313 237

    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 in her role as a customer care advisor. She’s currently enrolled in the WSET Level two course. When not at work Sam enjoys eating out, cooking and going to gigs.

Marketing and Operations

  • Rick Terry
    E-Commerce Manager
    Tel: +44 (0)1473 313 235

    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 watching his two daughters play tennis.


  • Robbie Toothill
    Tel: +44 (0)1473 313 254

    After graduating from the University of Cambridge, Robbie worked in Majestic stores in East Grinstead and Tunbridge Wells for nine months. He joined the team at Lay & Wheeler in 2014, initially responsible for marketing and merchandising activities, and was promoted to Buyer at the end of 2016. Robbie completed the WSET level three with distinction in 2014, and is enrolled in the Diploma programme. In his spare time, Robbie enjoys sport and is an avid reader, with a keen interest in American history. He also speaks conversational French and Russian.

  • Catherine Petrie MW
    Tel: +44 (0)1473 313 254

    Catherine joined Lay & Wheeler in January 2020 as French wine buyer. 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. She graduated with a BA from the University of Leeds and an MA from the University of Bristol in English Literature.

  • John Phillips
    Buying Coordinator
    Tel: +44 (0)1473 313 206

    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. He finished the WSET level 3 in 2017 and is currently studying toward the diploma. John joined Lay & Wheeler in January 2017 to assist in the operational side of the business, including stock movement and management. He has since moved into the buying team and has a keen interest in the wines of Australia, New Zealand and California.

  • Lucy Fisher
    Marketing Coordinator
    Tel: +44 (0)1473 313 254

    Lucy joined us in October 2019, returning to the team after a five year hiatus. She first started at Lay & Wheeler in 2006 and took on various roles over almost ten years. Lucy graduated from the University of Hull having studied French and Spanish, and completed the WSET Diploma in 2009. She will always have a soft spot for Burgundy and loves almost every wine she has ever had from Italy. When not working, either for Lay & Wheeler or teaching languages, Lucy is renovating a 1960s bungalow with her husband and enjoys cooking, camping and talking to her chickens.

  • Tamara Vetesi
    Shipping & Stock Controller
    Tel: +44 (0)1473 313 209

    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.

  • Zsuzsanna (“Suzie”) Banfi
    Operations Coordinator
    Tel: +44 (0)1473 313 211

    Suzie started on our operations team in June 2019. She attended university in her native Budapest in Hungary, studying both IT and hospitality. Since moving to the UK in 2011, Suzie’s taken on several roles in hospitality, before shifting focus to warehousing and logistics where she is also earning a degree in supply chain management. When she is not looking after wine logistics at Lay & Wheeler, she has a love for extreme sports (and even wrote her thesis about them) and photography, though is most likely playing Lego with her son.


  • Sarka Karafiatova
    Financial Accounts Manager
    Tel: +44 (0) 7825 902 435

    Sarka joined the Majestic Group in 2007, after working in marketing in London. Originally from the Czech Republic, she studied business at university there before moving to England in 2002.

    She’s been on the finance team the entire time, first looking after Majestic, then Les Celliers and now Lay & Wheeler since 2011, just after the Majestic acquisition. Sarka handles all of our accounts, and looks after our finances.

    Outside the office, she enjoys rowing, snowboarding, cycling and looking after her young son Alex.