Cheers to the pioneering Martel family
In Europe, people have been drinking wine for 8,000 years – indeed the first evidence of wine growing can be traced back to Georgia in the 6th century BC. Yet despite this great tradition, an amazing density of innovation and creativity is evident in vineyards stretching from Hettlingen to Chianti and cellars from the Mosel to the Lavaux. This pioneering spirit doesn’t stop at wine merchants, either.
One such pioneer, with an exciting story to tell, is based just a few hundred metres away from Asga’s head office in St. Gallen: Martel AG St. Gallen. We therefore took the opportunity to talk to Jan Martel about his innovative family-owned business. At the same time, we wanted to know which wine would be the best pairing for our (fictitious) 60th birthday celebrations.
Cheers! Many of us would be content with one pioneering achievement – but not Martel. Which takes us back to its innovative spirit. Back in 1995, when very few of us had an e-mail address, Martel had already set up an online shop. How did that happen?
The idea came from my brother-in-law, who was working at the University of St. Gallen at the time and was looking for a product for an online shop. I was able to persuade the firm’s then-managers, despite the fact that the industry was still very critical of the internet back then. The move soon sparked interest among the internet community, and the first orders started coming in from Norway, Spain and the UK. We’re now reaping the benefits of 27 years of experience in e-commerce and understand how to convey the emotion of wine, both on and offline. Moreover, we’re currently working on a totally new world of experience that will have a virtual presence in just a few months’ time.
Martel AG St. Gallen is one of Switzerland’s oldest wine merchants, with three locations in St. Gallen and Zurich as well as a large team of advisors for the catering industry. A family-owned firm, Martel is totally independent and has 47 employees.