Leigh St Wine Room and sister online store have been sold

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The majority of shares in Adelaide bar Leigh Street Wine Room and online wine retailer Juice Traders have been sold to a silent investor, as the founders of the company prepare to return to Sydney.

Co-founders Sali and Nathan Sasi sold 90% of the companies, for an undisclosed amount, to a private investor based in South Australia.

Sali said Daily The couple had retained a 10% stake in both companies and would continue to run the businesses, using the investment from the sale to help grow Juice Traders’ national footprint.

“Nothing really changes except having more financial support for growth,” she said.

“I will be driving the growth of Juice Traders, obviously with my background in Stylerunner it makes sense that this is my primary focus.”

The entrepreneur, who cut her teeth as the co-founder of multi-million dollar sportswear electronics startup Stylerunner, started Juice Traders last year when Leigh Street Wine Room was forced to close. its doors in March during South Australia’s first lockdown.

Like many hotel owners across the country, the Sasis introduced take-out wines to survive the decline in clientele after launching the natural wine bar and seasonal restaurant in 2019.

Leigh Street Wine Room faced other issues less than 12 months after opening when coronavirus restriction capacity caps and confusion over sit-down bar catering rules set the future of the former site of dry cleaning in limbo.

A vocal opponent of the Marshall government’s restrictions on businesses, Sali took to Instagram to call the September restrictions a “joke” and to call on the government to provide small businesses with a “workable model that allows us to continue to operate. practice Covid security while remaining financially viable “.

The state government then changed the rules, allowing the small wine bar to continue operating.

Six months later, Sali said the couple were able to “breathe easier” for the first time in a year thanks to the company’s sales.

She said the financial support would mainly be used to enable juice merchants to grow, increasing the number of wines and beers offered through her nationwide online store and moving to event sponsorship.

Sali said she also hopes to open a physical bottle store for the online wine retailer in South Australia, unless the state is able to cut red tape the company will look to the eastern capitals. to open up a physical presence for Juice. Traders.

The couple plan to return to Sydney before their two youngest sons start school in 2022.

The change of owners will also see Sydney-born and raised chef Nathan Sasi stepping out of the kitchen.

Sali said her husband will continue to contribute to the Leigh Street Wine Room menu, but that his main focus will be to primarily care for the couple’s two young children.

She said that although the couple had not looked to sell when approached with an offer to buy from the companies, they “still planned” to return to their eastern hometown by 2022. and with commercial support, they were able to move with the knowledge that if another foreclosure occurred in South Africa, they would not risk losing their home.

“The original plan before the pandemic was that we lived in Sydney, owned 100% LSWR (Leigh Street Wine Room) but had a team that could lead and manage the business. However, given the pandemic, that drastically changes the circumstances, ”said Sali.

“In Adelaide, we can personally take the financial blows in the event of a foreclosure… because, of course, living expenses are cheaper.

“If we’re in Sydney and another foreclosure happens it would add an exponential amount of stress and financial pressure to protect it if we’re 100% owner, so selling the business and keeping a lower percentage was the key. good decision to protect both. the company and the job security of our team.

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