Our Team

Rob Nellis

Founding Partner

With more than 30 years of restaurant, sommelier, bartending and wine retailing experience, both in Canada and internationally, Rob is uniquely qualified to understand and identify new product opportunities and to promote quality wines within the Ontario marketplace. Certified with the Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET), the International Sommelier Guild, the Algonquin Sommelier Program, The French Wine Society and The Italian Wine Society, Rob is a recognized and trusted wine educator.

Favourite Movie:  Wish it could be something infinitely more urbane and sophisticated: Star Wars

My Favourite Wine Experience: The very first bottle of Mosel Riesling I ever tried. I honestly cannot remember the name of it now. I was a beer and whisky drinker. The wine I drank was merely a vehicle for alcohol…not a lot of thought put into it. This Riesling was electric on my palate though. It was spritzy and a bit sweet. It was the first time I really sat back and enjoyed every facet of a wine. I was hooked. And to this day, still get excited every time I open a bottle.

Margaret Hobbs

Managing Partner

A strategic, analytical, creative entrepreneur with a track record of success in multiple beverage alcohol categories and distribution channels (LCBO General List, Vintages/Essentials, Grocery, Destination Collection & Consignment), Margaret was responsible for the growth and success of Hobbs & Co — a highly regarded agency in Ontario — for over 21 years. She is ISG-certified and is responsible for expanding B+C supplier and Liquor Board relationships and contributing to the effectiveness of operations.

Favourite Movies: (How can you pick just ONE?!?) Shrek, Thelma & Louise, The Princess Bride

Favourite Wine Experience: Cycling through the Côte du Rhône region of France with my father in the spring of 1990. After a picnic lunch on the galets roulés of a Châteauneuf-du-Pape vineyard, we very carefully teetered off to our B&B to sleep off our midday indulgence.

Morgan Powers

Director of Communications

Born and raised in Ottawa, Morgan holds an Advanced Diploma (Algonquin College) in Advertising, Marketing & Communications Management. After more than 6 years’ of hospitality and fine dining experience—initially as a server and then as an Event Coordinator —she joined the Buyers+Cellars team in December 2018. As Communications Director, she works alongside our marketing agency to ensure there is a harmonious bridge between our brand and our producers and customers. Morgan holds her WSET Level 2.

Favourite Movie: A toss-up between Good Will Hunting and Pretty Woman.

Favourite Wine Experience: Driving through the Mandala Vineyards in Australia’s Yarra Valley with winemaker Charles Smedley, stopping to watch a mob of Kangaroos jumping through the vines.

Rene Wallis

Territory Manager
The newest member to the B+C team, Rene manages our all-important Ottawa territory. Holding a Sommelier certificate and WSET Advanced (Level 3), he spent more than 25 years working in hospitality, including 7 years managing the wine program at the 4 diamond Brookstreet Hotel, before becoming a wine sales professional in 2013. Rene’s passion is knowing and sharing the stories about the people behind the wine.
Wine Movie: Bottle Shock
Sports Movie: The Natural
Favourite Wine Experience: There are way too many… But if I had to choose just one it would be visiting Tahbilk in the Nagambie Lakes region in Victoria, Australia. Neil, the winemaker, took me to the Tahbilk museum – the original church ground, once grain store, rich in history and dating back to the 19th century. He offered me a private tasting of over a dozen wines! I was incredibly humbled by the experience.

Curtis Stephenson

Tasting Room Manager

After more than 20 years in the hospitality sector, Curtis embodies the exceptional customer service and professionalism that drive fine dining and enhance guest experiences. He has used his knowledge and skills to develop the next generation of service professionals and in 2016 he helped open one of Canada’s top new restaurants. Curtis brings a passion to his role at Buyers+Cellars and is excited to take our Ottawa Tasting Room guests on an unforgettable journey through the world of wine.

Favourite Movie:  Inception 

Favourite Wine Experience:  Going out with Robbie Nellis for the first time 20 years ago and being reintroduced to Riesling at the bar. And by reintroduced, I mean drinking copious amounts of Riesling directly out of the bottle and shouting, “I LOVE THE RESIDUAL SUGAR!”, above the blaring dj spinning Notorious BIG.

Ryan Gilchrist

Business Development | Territory Manager

Ryan is a seasoned wine professional, having led the Ontario sales efforts of a large Tier-1 Consignment Agency for almost 10 years. In addition, he has demonstrated experience in supplier relations, portfolio development, supply chain management and sales analytics. Spearheading our business development efforts as well as our Toronto sales program, his passion for wine and exceptional client service are a valuable addition to our team. Ryan is a WSET Diploma candidate.

Favourite Movie: A tie between Vertigo and North by Northwest

Favourite Wine Experience: Touring through Alsace with my now wife, Deb.  It’s a wine region that I had long loved, and spending time there only reinforced that feeling.  Bucolic villages, the omni-present Vosges mountains, great food and of course, wonderful wines.  I will be back!