By Lauren Ferrone
Adelaide retail entrepreneur, Ella Walker, is bringing a unique local cellar door experience to the CBD to “give back” to the city she says supported her start-up venture The Love Lettery more than a year ago.
As part of her new business venture, Ella is expanding and relaunching The Love Lettery as a retail destination solely dedicated to South Australia’s finest wines, produce and gift products.
New signage for the Topham Mall shop – now rebranded to ‘Loco Vin’ – will be installed today (Friday, November 25), with the full range of new products available from next year.
Loco Vin, literally meaning local wine, will showcase new and emerging winemakers from across South Australia, offering a unique wine discovery experience in the CBD.
“We wanted to bring the cellar door experience to the city with a focus on small boutique producers who are bringing something new to the market,” Ella says.
Similar to the art of pairing wines with specific dishes, Ella will couple local drops with uniquely South Australian gifts; reimagining the bottle shop experience and celebrating the gift of good wine.
“We wanted to create a destination where people can support local makers and producers and have a good old brag about the incredible products made right here in South Australia,” she says.
With former co-owner, Sonia Mir, Ella opened The Love Lettery last October as a shop providing the unique service of crafting perfectly-worded letters for romantics who want to give the object of their affection something special.
The business was part of the Renew Adelaide Program which provides 30-day, rent-free, rolling leases to connect emerging creative initiatives with property owners to activate untenanted buildings.
The program also presents opportunities for start-ups to trial their business concept, while helping to revitalise urban areas both socially and economically.
Now in its second year of trade, Ella says The Love Lettery is the first Renew Adelaide project to attract the attention of outside investors.
“The unique business model and its origins as part of Adelaide’s start-up scene were a big draw-card for the investors, who saw enormous value in Adelaide’s entrepreneurial community and the genuine support for truly local enterprises,” she says.
“In a sense, the relaunch gives back to the very community that supported our start-up journey, and is a nod to the real impact we can all make when we embrace local.”
Ella’s own Etikette candle range is one of the new products already stocked at Loco Vin, making it yet another side project of hers which she lovingly hand pours at home in the Adelaide Hills.
The soy wax candle range features seven fragrances inspired by South Australian destinations: Fleurieu; Heysen; Yorke; Morialta; Seacliff; Eyre; and Kuitpo.
“I guess I really am hammering home a love of South Australia at every opportunity,” says Ella, whose candle range is also stocked across some of Adelaide’s best loved retailers, including Urban Cow.
“When you engage with the start-up community you realise South Australia is championing so many opportunities to assist young entrepreneurs and creative industries,” she adds.
“My start-up experience has provided so many incredible opportunities and lessons and I would encourage anyone with a great idea to get out there and connect with the community.
“We are very lucky to have such great support for our entrepreneurs – it’s one of the things that keeps Adelaide interesting and makes it such brilliant place to live.”
Headline image by Che Chorley
Inside South Australia spoke to Ella about her Love Lettery start-up venture when it launched last October. Read more about her unique business journey here.
Visit I Choose SA to find out how you can support our State by choosing South Australian businesses, products and services.