How To Start A Wines And Spirits Business in Kenya

How To Start A Profitable Wines And Spirits Business in Kenya

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Catherine Mutahi

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How To Start A Profitable Wines And Spirits Business in Kenya: A Beginners Guide. 

Have you ever considered diving into the exciting world of wine and spirits for your next business venture? If you’ve heard whispers about the profitability of this industry, let me assure you it’s still a booming opportunity. Kenyans fully embrace the pleasure of alcoholic beverages, whether for a special celebration or a casual get-together. In fact, recent data from East Africa Brewery Limited (EABL) reveals that Kenyans splurged an astonishing 74.4 billion on alcohol in the year leading up to June 2022, surpassing spending in Tanzania and Uganda. The potential here is undeniable, and you could be the one supplying the next round of drinks. Starting your own wine and spirits shop is a breeze and promises significant returns. This blog is your ultimate guide to kickstart your journey in the dynamic world of wines and spirits, equipping you with all the necessary tools to tap into this thriving market.


When diving into the world of wines and spirits, you can sell at retail or wholesale. Now, both options have their opportunities, but wholesale is often seen as the better route. The reasons are pretty clear – not only do wholesale operations offer much higher profit margins per bottle, averaging around Ksh.30 per unit, but the associated risks are also lower. Imagine this: with a stock worth Ksh.100,000, you can make daily profits ranging from Ksh.1,500 to Ksh.5,000. It’s a business model that has proven to be lucrative for many, with small retailers making monthly profits between Ksh.30,000 and Ksh.100,000. On the wholesale side, daily earnings can soar to impressive numbers, ranging from Ksh.5,000 to Ksh.20,000. The numbers speak for themselves, highlighting the exciting opportunities that await those who venture into this business. 

How To Get Started


Finding the perfect spot is crucial in ensuring the success of your wine and spirits business. To ensure success in your wines and spirits business, choose a location with a sizable population and potential customers passionate about your products. These include Nairobi, Nyeri, Kisii, Mombasa, Mtwapa, Busia, Kitengela, Meru, Maua, and Thika. With that in mind, consider setting up in easily accessible areas with high traffic, but be mindful of legal restrictions such as proximity to schools. By meeting these criteria, you can increase your chances of success.


Staying ahead of the competition is paramount to ensuring the long-term success of your business. Especially in urban areas where the competition can be seriously fierce. Start by conducting market research to understand the market condition, then develop a pricing strategy that aligns with your customers and the competition. It’s also important to stay updated on the latest trends, what people are into, and how marketing evolves. Be proactive, adaptable, and willing to experiment to survive and thrive in the face of competition.

Liquor License and Permits

The most critical aspect of starting a wines and spirits shop is obtaining the necessary licenses and permits. Having an annual business permit from the City Council to run this kind of business is crucial. So, start by securing a license from your local council/county office or Huduma Centers to establish your legitimacy in the market. Reach out to your local City Council officers who can guide you through the application procedure, provide information on associated costs, and may even visit your premises to assess the size and suitability of the location. Other licenses include; 

  1. Health Certificate 
  2. Approval by NEMA
  3. MCSK License 

Setting up requirements 

Setting up a wines and spirits shop depends on your long-term goals and available capital. If you have little money, a small 10×10 ft room can work for a simple takeaway shop. But if you have more money to invest, you might want to create a sit-in facility with chairs, tables, and shelves to give customers a more immersive experience. The space rent can range from Ksh.10,000 to Ksh.50,000, depending on location. So, customize your setup to fit your budget and your vision for your business.

Look For a Reliable Supplier. 

Securing a reliable supplier is a cornerstone of success in the wines and spirits business. Conduct thorough research and networking with fellow wines and spirits business owners can provide valuable insights and connections to reputable suppliers. After identifying a potential supplier, understand the logistics, delivery schedules, and partnership terms. A dependable supplier leads to a steady flow of quality products and contributes to the sustained success of your venture.

Promote your business

You can’t start a business and not let anyone know about it. Be loud about your new venture to your close friends and family, and build a robust online presence through a website and social media. These platforms allow you to share updates, offer discounts, and create engaging content related to your products. Don’t overlook the power of attending industry-related events. Remember, active promotion is the key to building a customer base and ensuring sustained growth in the competitive wines and spirits market.


As you begin your new venture, consider that a bonus to your success lies in going digital with Cloudpay. We understand the complexities of managing the financial aspects of a business and exist to make it simpler and more efficient for you. By utilizing Cloudpay, you can concentrate on growing and expanding your business while we take care of the crucial financial tasks. Our platform enables you to effortlessly receive payments, pay suppliers, manage your finances, and obtain valuable insights for better planning and well-informed financial decisions. Take your business operations to new heights with Cloudpay and unlock the potential for sustained success in the ever-changing world of wines and spirits.

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