GUEST BLOG: Kieron Sumner of Panther – Levenshulme’s First Bottle Shop


There are loads of people in Levenshulme beavering behind the scenes to try and make the high street a more diverse, desirable place to hang out.

There’s a definite vibe in the air that Levy is ready for a new permanent addition to complement the current choices on our stroll around this mysterious suburb of hope and frustration. How’s about a bottle shop -cum- deli in the vicinity? Do read on…

Changing Tastes?

With recent success stories such as Trove and The Buttery, the constant bustle of Levy Market along with popular pop-up restaurants from The Real Junk Food Project , Season’s Eatings and Nila’s Burmese Kitchen  it’s time to support a new type of venture. The quest for a permanent, discerning beer and wine shop (selling food bits too!) as a permanent fixture on the high street is upon us.

Thumbs up for the brave soul who makes this happen and saves us from a world of bland choices at Tesco. It seems the opportunity to embrace change is taking local entrepreneurs such as Kieron Sumner by hold. Support him we must.

Kieron has kindly agreed to share and expand on his plans in the first guest blog for Love Levenshulme. It’s a great read….

GUEST BLOG BY KIERON SUMNER- Founder of Panther and The Manchester Zoo concept

First stop, Levenshulme! I cannot think of a place in Manchester crying out loudly and proudly enough for a bottle shop, than here. Looking through the 2016 High Street Review however, it is quite a bleak document.

Money laundering businesses’ that never open, theft, extremely high rents and a disproportionately high level of chicken takeaways. Levenshulme has nothing going for it on the surface. But pay your attention to the people who are waiting at the train station, cutting through the high street to get home, or have popped into The Buttery for change to use the launderette. The paper work doesn’t seem to match the people. Young parents out priced by Chorlton, the bar manager of an Ancoats bar you go to occasionally and a guy you met at Warpaint. The infrastructure is abysmal, but there is a trendy population here.

Kieron & Co (UK) LTD plans to open up a bottle shop in Levenshulme in the next few years undeniably and quite bluntly to attract that market of people while still being accessible to everyone, which is really important to us. Levenshulme deserves a fairer array of businesses.

Panther Levenshulme

We plan to sell bottled beers, ciders, and mead as well as interesting spirits such as Berliner Gin and Zymurgorium Sweet Violet Liquor. However, a bottle shop won’t exist on it’s own here and we have to accept that. We may sell coffee beans and dry foods from good local sources. The plan to offer monthly subscriptions to people within a 4 mile radius, open tastings and meet the brewers as well as home brew meetups and naturally be friendly and humble about it, if not albeit over excited.

What’s the first step?

Panther - The Market concept of The Bottle Shop Zoo concept...What animal would Levenshulme be?
Panther – The Market version of The Bottle Shop Zoo concept.What animal would Levenshulme be?

We don’t want to go to the bank for a loan on this one, so we’re starting at Levy Markets! We’ve started our business plan (with the help of local business’), created logos and an LTD company. We are becoming more aware of what we are doing and learning every day, talking to investors and other companies on how to achieve the right path. It will be our knowledge and expertise along side publicly raised money (and small investments) that will make this a success!

Levenshulme Panther

With all our profits from the markets (and some of our gross) going into a separate account we can begin to build our domestic infrastructure to credibly prove that a) there is a market for a bottle shop in Levenshulme and b) that we are profitable, and c) we are the people to do it. Only then can we do this.

How can you help?

Quite simply, buying our products! We are happy to engage and be open about our solid 2 year plan, most things will not be kept secret. And you can come and ask us anything at any time via email and mobile. But at the end of the day with no foot traffic, business’ fail – and we really don’t want that.


We’ll be popping up first at the Levenshulme Market – 06/08/2016 – 10am-4pm. And then again in the months running up to Christmas. Once we’re bigger we can employ staff to run Panther at other markets such as the NQ one and Didsbury and that’s when we’ll really see the ball rolling.

There’s a Manchester Zoo coming?!

Our plan is to open up more than one site if proved successful. Under and array of animal names. We take into consideration the area around us when naming the sites. Panther made perfect sense to us for markets, they’re confident, a fearless explorer but also just a cute cat at the end of the day.

Words and pictures kindly reproduced with permission.


Keep up to date with Kieron and Panther at Facebook and follow his blog which is an utter drink based delight.





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