Three Lay & Wheeler wine shops open in Essex. As the demand for wine grew, the company took the initiative to build an enlarged customer base in the increasingly wealthy commuter belt of the south of Essex.
Wine Workshop, Garrison Officers Club, Colchester, Essex. Rising star of wine journalism Jancis Robinson was invited to present 'Ten Great Vignerons', including Yquem, Vollrads, Mondavi, Prüm, Hugel and Ausone.
Wine Market opens in Gosbecks Road, Colchester, Essex. An entirely new concept of wine retailing was created, a wine warehouse attractive to customers seeking the most inexpensive, or the finest bottles. A tasting and dining room was integrated, together with a kitchen.
Joint Winner, Wine Merchant of the Year. Since receiving this accolade, Lay & Wheeler has been the recipient of numerous important wine trade awards including on three occasions (1990, 1994 and 1995) Wine List of the Year.
Large trade warehouse purchased on Gosbecks Road (John Lay House). Ever-expanding business demanded increased storage capacity, as did the need to house the growing staff roster.
Lay & Wheeler's 140th Anniversary. A Special Victorian-style dinner, with guests invited in period dress, was held to mark the occasion in Colchester's Moot Hall.
Sale of wholesale beer, spirit & mineral business to Liquid Assets Group. Changing market conditions dictated a policy of focusing on wine, a move which proved advantageous to Lay & Wheeler during the economic recovery of the late 1990s.