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Ben Franks joins Canned Wine Co. full-time

Published:  25 September, 2023

Ben Franks, the CEO and wine buyer who founded Novel Wines, has stepped down from his role to join Canned Wine Co., full-time, as CCO from January 2024.

Franks, who also co-founded Canned Wine Co. with Simon Rollings, joined the alternative packaging brand in 2020 and has been responsible for all the business’ wine sourcing. As part of his new role, Franks will apply to study for the Master of Wine qualification.

Under Franks’ stewardship, Novel Wines has been shortlisted in the Harpers 50 Best Indies and, in 2021 and 2023, Novel Wines picked up two IWC Merchant Awards. 

Reflecting on his time at Novel Wines, Franks said: “I am very proud of the business we built at Novel Wines and the team that has worked with us past and present over the years. I have learned so much from our team, customers and our wonderful wineries and suppliers. It is now time for me to take on a new challenge in the wine industry, but I am excited to watch how Novel Wines builds on our success in the future.”

Gyorgy Zsiga, co-founder and director of Novel Wines, mutually agreed to step down at the end of September 2023, with a new MD set to be appointed.

Zsiga said: “It has been an incredible journey building Novel Wines with Ben. I am now looking forward to taking everything I have learnt and continuing to put Hungarian wines and other emerging wine regions on the map, both in the UK and markets all over the world.”

Gary Shaw, previously sales and marketing manager at Novel Wines and having joined the business in December 2022, has been appointed as Novel Wines’ new MD.

Shaw commented: “I am looking forward to leading Novel Wines, bringing new skills from outside the industry and building on the success that Ben and Gyorgy have had over the last seven years. They established Novel Wines as a multi-award-winning wine merchant, so it’s an exciting time to take on the business with its strong track record and deep connections into the flourishing Central and Eastern European wine region.

“We will move forward with an enhanced focus on the on-trade with a directly sourced, multinational list and a new, highly motivated team. We’ll be championing the unusual and eclectic for years to come.”

Ben Franks will remain on the Novel Wines board as an advisor and shareholder from January 2024.