About Us

Where the
Blue Bottle Group started

In 2004 Jack Cullinan was awarded a consulting contract to roll out a chain of liquor stores for SPAR in the Western Cape. As the success of SPAR’s TOPS stores gained momentum, he realised that other supermarket chains would follow suit, putting independent bottle store owners at risk.

Jack saw in his early career, independent butchers and chemists, because of supermarkets, go down the route of selling up or shutting down. Being an independent owner of two bottle stores himself, he knew that the only way to compete with the big brand chains on pricing, distribution and marketing was to form an alliance, a strong network of like-minded entrepreneurs.

In November 2008, Jack and a former colleague Frank Aspeling, invited 12 independent bottle store owners to a meeting where he presented his idea to create The Blue Bottle Group. One store owner, in May 2009 signed up, Delfino De Sousa, Jack’s major competition in the South. Working together, they onboarded store after store into the group until they reached a critical mass of 30 stores and were negotiating at the same table with their suppliers as their major national chain competitors. The group became an attractive investment opportunity and the shareholder, Carel Mostert, took a hands-on approach bringing wholesale experience into network.

As supermarket chains continued to grow, Jack and his partners were eager to expand nationally. They found valuable experience in Manny Pereira and Jose Nascimento who purchased a 50% share in the Blue Bottle Group and aided its expansion into Gauteng, Kwa-Zulu Natal and further North.

By the time Jack retired and sold his shares in 2015, The Blue Bottle Group was well on its way to its current membership of over 450 bottle stores. Through the banding together of independent business owners, The Blue Bottle Group has secured the respect of their big brand suppliers as one of the largest independent bottle store groups in the country. They’ve also given supermarket chains a run for their money, keeping community business ownership alive in big cities and small towns across South Africa.

When asked how Jack came up with the name Blue Bottle, he simply says he named his two stores, and later the Blue Bottle Group, after a blue wine bottle he featured in all his signage. It has become a recognisable symbol denoting the type of business they run, like a red and white striped pole denotes a barber.

Our Story So Far

The Blue Bottle Group was established in May 2009, & has exploded into the brand known as Blue Bottle Liquors.

We are represented nationally in all 9 provinces with over 400+ members.

Our members are made up of a community of independent liquor store owners, who participate jointly and collectively to maximize the buying power available between them, to access more competitive deals and pricing as well as the sharing of information and good practices of business management.

We cater for both self-service and counter liquor stores. The counter stores are branded under the name Blue Bottle Liquors and the Counter Stores Blue Bottle Liquors Express.

Our premium liquor stores are branded as Blue Bottle Platinum and our wholesale stores are branded as Blue Bottle Liquors XL.

Blue Bottle Group Stores

Our Blue Bottle Liquors members pride themselves on providing their communities with huge variety and great value.

Our liquor stores stock a range of quality liquor products such as spirits, beers, ciders, wine, non–alcoholic drinks and more…

Our emphasis is on personal service in a safe environment, promoting responsible drinking.  Being part of the Blue Bottle Group membership means they will offer better prices, professional advice and don’t forget the personal touch of the owner.

Our Vision

The vision of The Blue Bottle Group is to create a buying power & support alternative.

For the independent liquor store members to benefit from collective knowledge, expertise & promotional activity.

It is the pledge of The Blue Bottle Group executive, to identify and define the required standards, controls and procedures necessary for the independent member to succeed.

To ensure that this is done within the law and to always promote responsible drinking.

Our Aim & Objectives


To create

a platform for liquor stores to benefit from bulk buying & combined price negotiating


To define

a core membership base to drive The Blue Bottle concept


To stop

erosion of the independent traders market share by the supermarket chain stores, with competitive independent liquor stores


To maintain

continual effort for traders to buy right


To have

individual advertising & marketing drives


To ensure

that the independent liquor store does not remain isolated and has a wealth of experience to draw from


To increase

the member base by a minimum of ten stores per annum


To become

a market force in the industry & a viable alternative to the independent store owner

Company Directors

The Blue Bottle Group is a South African registered Close Corporation with three independent shareholders, Carel Mostert, Jose Nascimento and Manny Pereira.

Our team offers more than 55 years retailing experience, 25 years owner run business management experience and 30 years liquor retail experience.

Carel Mostert


Carel is an “institute” in the liquor trade. Having spent 32 years with the Distell group, he is no stranger to selling liquor. After having a grounding of 6 years in the hospitality industry, in hotel management, Carel’s career started with Distell.

He was one of the founder team members of the original Bergkelder wine specialists, as a representative. He later became the Sales Manager for the Bergkelder for the Western Cape. Of his 32 years with Distell he has spent 25 years in management positions including Regional Sales manager for Distillers which involved the portfolio of Distell spirits.

His area covered Western, Northern and Eastern Cape. Carel retired in 2011 as Regional Sales Manager – Wine division Western Cape.

With this wealth of experience and the enormous network he has built up over the years, it would have been a travesty to see it all go to waste. Just 4 weeks after going on retirement Carel joined the Blue Bottle Group.



José grew up in the retail industry. His family owned a café/take away business, a true breeding ground for all successful Portuguese youth. In 1987 José’s father purchased a liquor store and that’s where José learned, working part time as a youngster, about the liquor trade.

In 1993 he joined the family liquor store full time. Today the Nascimento family are well respected in the liquor industry. They are one of the biggest independents in the country in retail, wholesale and re-distribution of alcohol.

In 1999 José felt he needed a different challenge and joined a chicken wholesale/retail franchise; who trade in both fresh and frozen chickens.

José ran the business very successfully for 4 years but liquor was always back of mind. In 2003 José bought Greenhills Liquor in Randfontein with his partner Manuel Pereira. Together they have built a very successful business which they still own today. José’s skills in both identifying and negotiating a “great deal” is a huge asset to our group.



Manny Pereira is no stranger to retail his experience is in excess of 30 years in retail and specifically over 20 years in liquor retail. He currently owns Greenhills Blue Bottle Liquors in Randfontein, Gauteng.

Manny is also involved in a very successful Butchery. On a golfing trip to the Algarve he met Delfino De Sousa a Blue Bottle director, listened to the concept and was sold on the idea of becoming a member. Manny has seen that belonging to the Blue Bottle Group is not only about price but the collective knowledge, experience and information that comes from sharing within the network of talented members.

Being an independent liquor store owner is where the benefits should be and Manny wants to make sure of that. Manny still believes that we should move with the times and technology, but not forget the old values of honest business principles.

All of us at The Blue Bottle Group share these sentiments and work towards upholding these values daily.

Contact Us

Get In Touch

We welcome our clients, as well as liquor stores looking at becoming a member of the Blue Bottle Group, to contact us.