Recent graduate and young entrepreneur Tom Ellis started his business aged just 16 selling tennis balls from his room at school.
However it soon became apparent that the tennis balls were an extremely seasonal product and something new was required to build the business.
On arrival at Exeter University as an undergraduate to read Geography, Tom had just negotiated an exclusive UK import arrangement to distribute Leroux-Mineau Grand Cru Champagne.
Whilst at Exeter, Tom developed the story through the media including BBC radio 2, ITV's Alan Titchmarsh show and articles in the major papers which generated interest and drove traffic to his website www.LMChampagne.co.uk. The business that Tom started aged just 16 was now growing day by day during his 3 years at Exeter.
On graduating, Tom decided to take the leap and run the business full time and what a success that has proved to be.
Tom now sells the total production volume from the Leroux-Mineau vineyard in the UK and as a result went looking for a new Champagne to bring to the UK market. He has recently won the rights to import the prestigious Champagne brand Chassenay d’Arce and this house produces in excess of 1 million bottles a year and has proved itself in France, Europe, America and now launching for the first time in the UK, facilitated by Tom and his business First Class Products.
Therefore Tom believes this could be the most exciting development to his business since its initial launch. “Chassenay d’Arce has been well recognised in the industry receiving medals in the International Wine Challenge and has been classed as one of the top 10 sparkling wines of the world. Chassenay d’Arce is a truly exceptional Champagne with huge potential”.
Erwan Thill, sales manager at Chassenay d’Arce says “the dedication of Tom and his remarkable knowledge of both Champagne and the UK drinks markets makes me feel happy and full of confidence for the future of our partnership”.
Tom now imports and distributes both Champagne brands in the UK which can be seen at www.firstclassproducts.biz. The business continues to grow everyday with such a simple idea as selling tennis balls turned into an import and distribution business.