How to Start a Wines and Spirit Business in Kenya

Is it easy to start a wines and spirit shop in Kenya? Well, the answer to that question depends on how one is prepared for the task. Before we talk about what is required to start let us first take an overview of the industry.

Overview of Wines and Spirit Business in Kenya

According to a statement by NACADA, about 15 million Kenyans drink regularly. 12 million drink daily spending an average of Ksh100 on each occasion.
In 2010 the Alcohol Drinks Control Act (commonly known as Muthutho Law) was passed to regulate operations in this industry.
Market for wines and spirits in Kenya is growing because majority find them cheaper than beer whose price has been rising in recent years due to implementation of SIN TAX.
Sit-in customers spend an average of Ksh300 per day while takeaway customers spend at least Ksh210 per day.
How To Get Started with the Wines and spirit business in Kenya.


You first need to identify the ideal location and because alcohol consumption is a leisure activity many clients prefer to frequent establishments that are easily accessible from the main road. It is advisable to choose a location that has high traffic. Avoid setting up your business near schools as this is against the law.


There is intense competition especially in urban areas and for this reason you need to ensure that your strategy is on point. Scan the market conditions and set a realistic price. You also need to keep track of changes in market trends if you want to remain competitive.


Licensing is the most important aspect of starting a wines and spirits shop. The most important license of all is liquor license which costs Ksh.50,000. Other licenses include:

Business License from County Council – Ksh3,500
Health Certificate – Ksh3,000
Approval by NEMA – Ksh3,000
MCSK License – Ksh3,000

Requirements for setting up

The requirements for setting up depend on your long-term goals and capital constraints. For instance, if you don’t have much capital you can look for a 10×10 ft room and set up a simple wines and spirit takeaway shop. With more capital you can set up a sit-in facility with chairs, tables and shelves. On average rent prices range from Ksh20,000 – Ksh50,000 depending on location.

Cost Breakdown

Licenses – Ksh70,000
Furniture (Shelves, Display area, Tables, Chairs etc.) – Ksh50,000
Stock (Inventory) – Ksh50,000
Miscellaneous – Ksh100,000
TOTAL – Ksh270,000

Expected Challenges

The first challenge you are going to face is intense competition. You will need to provide quality services and best prices in order to retain old customers who will in turn keep coming back with their friends. You also need to appreciate the challenge that you can only open your business from 5.00pm – 11.00pm on weekdays and 2:00pm – 11:00pm on weekends and public holidays.

Final Word

As i always tell you, there’s no marathon race that has ever been won by those who did not start the race. If you like the idea discussed above and you have what it takes to actualize it…then don’t wait to start…just do it.

Feel free to ask me anything about starting and running a wines and spirit business.


Nice guy. So I hear story ya employees selling their own stock and leaving your stock there . When you do your math, you find you aren’t selling but in real sense they are selling their stock and using your premise as a selling point . How do you deal with this menace .

Good input

In some watering holes you find the stocks are signed and you wonder what is the purpose. In case the manager/owner makes an impromptu visit and glance at the table, he will make a sound decision

Mimi nangoja mawaidha ya kutayarisha tots

You just buy tot measure and some lime juice.
Cocktail is different and many peasants can’t afford so mostly you will find them in 3 star restaurants


My advise, don’t get caught up in the glitz and glamour when you make your first returns, be consistent and never deligate, for this business to work you have to be hands on on everything, it will take alot of your personal time. For this to work haiwezi kua side hustle,ni full time job.When you leave the shop bi lazima you rewind :rewind: the video clips and see what you missed. Just know your business is as good as your employees,treat them well and most will take care of your biz, pay them badly na utaona vumbi. Ni hayo tu.:cool:


Kuna zingine huchanganywa na kahawa. Izo ingredients and exact measures ndio ngumu. Juzi my guy mixed Red label na Cider.

Hio sio cocktail.
Black label inafaa kuchanganya na ginger.
Richot na yoghurt- slippery nipple
Vat 69 na coke- black mamba


Whoever wrote this has no idea. Sounds easy on paper but the moment you try it out you’ll reconsider. Challenges left right and centre.

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Hujaweka cost ya kuhonga akina @pamba and rest assured cut yao ni lazima na muhimu zaidi!

This biz is very lucrative and has high returns. What you need to have is information you have to know when brewery and keroche and other companies are having promotions and buy in bulk eg buy 20 cartons of kc and get one free. Also you need to know their customer reps wawe wanakuuzia na bei ya stockist.
Kina pamba in nyeri ni 200 daily na weekend on sato ni 500 ya mkubwa.

50K stock ni kidogo sana ya kufungua wines and spirits… Clearly a not well researched article.

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These are good inputs. We are here to add flesh to this hypothetical analysis. Those with real ife experience in doing the business should add flesh to help improve the article and to help someone who needs to do similar business. Here is list (not updated) of some suppliers in town.


Poorly researched article, wines and spirits are like supermarkets you can buy foodstuff but you cant eat it there, also they are allowed to open at 11am and close at 11pm.

@Syntax_error you should buy from the distributors not from stockists.
Incase kuna promotion stockist hatakwambia.

The article is from 2015. Copy pasted from here------>>>>

As one already with some hands on experience,I can say that your figures are way off target.
But am not an expert,you are. So do not mind me.

The law says
1: A take away liquor store should operate from 5-8pm
2: A bar should operate from 5-11pm
3: A bar and restaurant should operate anytime in the morning to 11 pm.
4: A supermarket liquor section should operate from 8am to 8pm
5: A distributor/wholesale should operate anytime of the day.
There are other categories like member clubs,lodgings that have different operating hours.
But Kenya being what it is,these rules are rarely properly followed