SERVING ONTARIO FOR 27 YEARS

Our Team

Françoise Abro, Director Abcon Wines

Françoise Abro founded Abcon Wine Merchants in 1993, as a way to introduce Ontario consumers to high quality, boutique South African wines. Her incredible enthusiasm and knowledge of wine, has enabled her to establish one of the most respected portfolios of internationally acclaimed wine brands in Ontario.

“My relationship with wine started many years ago sharing, tasting and learning with my father. I discovered years later, that I had inherited both my father’s natural palate and love for wine.

My family name “DELAMOTTE” also happens to be that of a very famous French Champagne house… maybe somewhere there is a very old link in the family tree and I was destined to be in this industry! “

Favourite quote: “I cook with wine – sometimes I even add it to the food.”

Mark McFadyen, Director Abcon Wines

Mark has been involved in the restaurant trade from every angle for 30 years. His passion for wine is contagious and his knowledge and ability to source well-priced products for the Abcon portfolio that over-deliver on both flavour and value is why Abcon has been able to establish itself as one of Ontario’s premier Wine Agencies. Celebrating  24 years with Abcon next year, Mark continues to be the impetus for Abcon finding great wines and finding  great people to sell them! The Abcon team is the strongest it has ever been and we invite you to see what is new and special in our portfolio.

Favourite quote:If a life of wine, women and song becomes too much, give up the singing

John Swatridge, Sales 

 During careers in the publishing industry, the financial services industry and teaching, there has  always been one constant: a love of wine, known by many as the nectar of the gods.  My favourite wines are those that have been sipped in such places as Croatia, Montenegro, Myanmar, France and Chile, but the ambiance was definitely a factor and probably biased my opinions. While here in Canada, I enjoy a wide variety of wines and after 25 years of wine clubs and personal consumption, the palate has come a long way!
Officially retired, I now love exploring and tasting wines with customers;  new and old.

Melodie Grant-O’rourke, Sales  

With 20 years of experience in the Ontario Wine Industry Melodie has worked in a variety of roles including Director of Sales with award winning wineries launching major celebrity brands, Wayne Gretzky and Mike Weir Wines. With a passion for philanthropy, Melodie  assisted in raising $7 million dollars for the Mike Weir Children’s Foundation. WSET Level 3 Certified, Melodie has experience working with licensees to develop extensive wine programs, building relationships with clients, and promoting wine knowledge with staff. In 2017 Melodie launched Grant Premium Beverages with the mission to sell wine for the greater good, raising money for Canadian Mental Health charities. Premium Wines, Healthy Minds, Empowered Women and Girls.

Stephen Thomas, Sales 
 
Wine lover, turned wine enthusiast, that developed a passion for the liquid gem. Currently enrolled Canadian Association of Professional Sommelier, WSET Certified and soon to be taking the  Court of Master Sommelier Introductory program. Always seeking wine knowledge and understanding of terroir. 
“In wine, there is truth” unknown.
Tracey Busch, Sales – South-Central Ontario

Tracey has been part of Abcon’s team for over 15 years. As our “out-of-town” representative she has developed her niche market in outlying areas. Tracey’s excellent organizational skills and her enthusiastic approach to sales have rewarded her with a loyal and constant customer base.

“Promoting and selling wines is the perfect fit for my lifestyle. Presenting fine wines to the local country establishments and golf resorts in my neighborhood has been so rewarding for me and… fun!

Sahara MacDonald, Sales

Sahara has always had a passion for wine, especially how wine pairs with food. Wine has a certain magic to it, one that draws people together both culturally and socially. She is excited to be working with such a dynamic catalog of wines. Her passion for wine grew as she attended numerous tastings throughout her career in the hospitality industry. Sahara has been told by many that she has a unique palate and ability to talk about wines with an astute yet casual approach. In her spare time she loves to cook for friends and entertain; she is a musician and teaches yoga. Sahara is very excited to be a part of the Abcon team.

“His lips drink water but his heart drinks wine” E.E. Cummings

Rob Beardall, Sales – Ottawa – Capital City

Rob pursued this love through graduating from the Sommelier program, whilst working in the hospitality industry serving and managing at restaurants that placed strong focus on their wine lists. Therefore in 1999 it was a natural transition for him to start selling wines and consulting on wine lists. Rob has also been fortunate enough to travel extensively, and always manages to work a wine tour into any trip involving a grape-growing country!

At an early age I became inspired for the love of wine and food by my extended family who all love to get together to share a glass and their latest recipes.

Favourite quote: There is a wine for every occasion and every individual’…”

James Muir, Sommelier/Sales  

James comes to us from the restaurant side of the business where he spent many years working with excellent wine lists and wine from all regions.
A Sommelier, James has won awards for wine lists that he has managed, so he has good perspective to help you with finding great choices from our catalogue – whether for your restaurant list or private collection.
A Montreal native, James has lived in B.C, Tokyo and now in Ontario for many years.

He can be contacted at james@abconwine.ca, or via cell at 647-309-0490.

Brent Fehr, Sales/ Director of Marketing – 
 
Brent has  spent 20 years on Bay Street working with the best Stock Brokers, Portfolio Managers & Financial Planners in Canada, learning patience & persistence in the sales process and the value of connecting over a great glass of wine. He curated many memorable events for Investment Advisor’s in some of Canada’s best restaurants. 
Brent’s  interest in wine continued to develop and turn into a passion!  In 2005 he traveled to New Zealand exploring both islands and their numerous wineries. This trip was followed by journeys to Italy, Croatia, Spain, France, Germany and Austria. He had been bitten by “wine & food’s” travel bug. In 2018 he completed WSET 1 & WSET 2 certification to formalized his wine’s education. 
Today as Director of Marketing at Abcon International Wine Merchants, Brent is looking to facilitate partnerships between Ontario restaurants and Private Clients with ABCON’s international family-run wineries.