As the opening date for our new Berlin shop approached, Cadenhead Sales Executive Jenna McIntosh travelled to Berlin to help with the preparations and was there to experience the grand opening. Jenna wrote a few words to tell us about how much she enjoyed the celebrations.
Saturday, 24th March 2018 – The official opening of our new Berlin Shop.
We began 2018 with the news that we will open a new Cadenhead Whisky Shop in Berlin. This is when much hard work, dedication and effort began for new owner Stefan Bulian. Premises had been sourced a few minutes walk away from our previous Cadenhead Shop but there was lots of work ahead to get it the way it looks today.
As work progressed Stefan kept us up-dated with pictures. Stefan is lucky enough to have a number of friends who were of all different trades and could help out in their own way. As work was getting closer to completion Stefan e-mailed to let us know that he was working towards opening on Saturday, 24th March 2018 and celebrate all the hard work, inviting guests who volunteered their spare time and work to get the shop ready for opening. Customers and fans were also invited along to have a first glimpse of the new shop!
I then decided to book flights to Berlin a few days before opening to roll up my sleeves and help out as much as possible… or just get in the way. On arrival to Berlin I stopped off at my hotel to drop bags off and before heading to the shop as fast as I could. I had a rough idea where the shop was situated, when I arrived there was no missing this Cadenhead’s Shop! The hand crafted sign stands out along the street and is also nicely lit. As I looked around I could see there was still a lot of work to be completed if opening was going to take place on Saturday. I was also thankful that I packed old clothes as if I was going to be helping at all it was going to get messy!
The next morning it was an early start and off to the shop. I arrived to a lot of hammering and sawing. As I was just about to tell Stefan that I completed Standard Grade Technical and would give anything a bash he presented me with the a pile of price tags that required cutting and folding – this job was definitely more suited and I was pleased the only injury (if any) I would receive would be a paper cut. As the day went on friends came and went adding their skills to the effort of preparing different parts of the shop. Stock was being brought from the basement and we were ready to start placing the bottles onto the hand crafted shelves. This was more difficult than it looked – single malts a-z, blended malts a-z, blended scotch, a-z, world whiskies a-z etc. Different bottles being different sizes and having to move everything back one and three forward.
It was early evening and the shop had changed dramatically, jobs were being completed, dust was decreasing, boxes/rubbish were being taken away. I even got my hands dirty and headed outside to wash the ceiling to floor windows. It was time to call it a night for me but Stefan and a few friends did carry on to the small hours.
The following day consisted of pulling the shop together. Wood work had finished and it was time to finish getting the stock on shelves moving leftovers back to the basement. It was amazing to see how the shop progressed over such a short space of time. By the end of the night Stefan’s desk was uncovered and computer and till systems were being brought out!
Opening day had arrived I was more than happy to do what I do best and deep clean the kitchen, bathroom and floors while everyone added the finishing touches to their wood work, electric and computer systems and furniture was being brought in and built up.
As I arrive back to the shop a beautiful buffet had been prepared and the shop was looking brilliant! Two of Cadenhead’s Directors then arrived and had a look around – the were very impressed! Champagne was passed around and Stefan declared Cadenhead Whisky Shop, Berlin open! I could sense relief but much excitement from Stefan and his friends. Visitors popped by enjoyed a dram or two while having a look around. It was very relaxed and a great success.
I would like to wish Stefan all the best with his shop in Berlin and I will look forward to working with him. I am already looking at dates for my next visit!
I would also like to thank Sefan, Katja, Nice, Frank, Jan, Karsten and Lydia for their hard work and welcoming me while in Berlin. I hope I didn’t get in the way too much! Look forward to seeing you all again!