Charles Lea - Spear's Magazine

Charles Lea

Lea & Sandeman

Charles Lea
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It’s been a good year for Chelsea institution Lea & Sandeman. Celebrating its 30th anniversary, it also received a Royal Warrant in April. Co-founder Charles Lea puts it down to consistency: ‘I was looking back at our first flyer when we opened the shop, and all the things we said then are all the things that we still stand for today.’

The online business is growing, but Lea says nothing replicates the experience of meeting customers in store: ‘There’s a real desire from the customer to have an interaction with someone who understands what they’re talking about.’

At the moment Lea is enjoying the wines of Tuscan great Carlo Ferrini, whose Giodo he has a soft spot for. ‘He’s quite possibly the greatest current Tuscan oenologist,’ he says, beaming.