Team Smith Keeps The Wine Flowing On Magdalen Road
What do a Nobel Peace Prize winner, a weatherman, an interior architect, the CEO of a top Exeter matchmaking agency and a mental health campaigner all have in common? Answer, they are all members of Team Smith, a group of people who have come together to support a larger-than-life, straight talking wine merchant in his hour of need.
Bon viveur, Iain Smith, is known and loved by many of Exeter’s wine drinkers. Anyone who has ventured into his independent wine shop on Magdalen road will understand Iain’s passion for what he does. Welcoming you in he will invite you to discover the familiar and less familiar wines he stocks, lovingly selected using experience gained through over 10 years in the industry. His cheeky mid-week suppers, where the happy quaffer enthusiastically shares his knowledge over a meal sourced principally from the other traders on Magdalen Road, are legendary. It’s fair to say that many of the Team Smith members have been led astray by Iain at said suppers over the years.
Earlier this year, however, Iain’s world was rocked when he was diagnosed with non Hodgkins Lymphoma. Whilst the long term prognosis is favourable, Iain knew that his intensive chemotherapy treatment would mean long spells away from the shop and inevitably impact his beloved business.
On hearing his plight, a number of customers and locals came together to form Team Smith to help Iain keep his business going during this time when he would be laid low. Members of the team signed up to cover shifts in the shop and to provide support in all sorts of ways. As word of Iain’s illness spread, the number of members of Team Smith grew: the WhatsApp group currently numbers 44.
Deeply touched by the support of the community, Iain said,
“I feel so fully blessed to have such amazing people in my life. It blows me away to see how a group, with no connection, has come together to help. I couldn’t go through this without them”.
Whether you need a reasonably priced red for a quiet night in on the sofa or a crate or ten of fizz for your Christmas party, Smiths wine will have just the thing. Make sure a trip to Smith’s Wine is on your festive to-do list, stock up for the season whilst supporting a local treasure.
Smith’s Wine Merchant open Tuesday to Saturday (10am to 7pm), 39 Magdalen Road, Exeter, Devon EX2 4TA, 01392 426550.