Challenging the Stereotype of Blacks in the Wine and Spirit Industries


( ENSPIRE Community Spotlight ) An Evening of Brand Exposure Opportunities for Black Owned Wines and Spirits

ENSPIRE Contributor: LaShonda Thompson

The Sip NYC Inc. hosted the city’s first all-Black-owned wine and spirits tasting event in Brooklyn, and ENSPIRE Magazine was there. This newly formed marketing platform for Black-Owned Businesses will provide them with more opportunities to compete and raise brand awareness. Although The Sip NYC Inc. is a new marketing platform, its founders, Joy and James Frazier, a husband-and-wife team, are not new to the marketing field for Black-owned businesses. The astute duo has been hosting profitable business networking events, black expos, and promoting black-owned firms for well over two decades.

The inaugural event was hosted at 189 Bridge Street, a black-owned Amarachi Restaurant in central Brooklyn, under the Manhattan Bridge. Amarachi’s distinctive cuisine comprised a mix of African and Caribbean dishes. Amour Geneve, Esrever Wines, Plush Vodka, Strange Fruit Wines, Ladismith South African Brandy, Caribbeanhibiscus, Den of Thieves Whiskey, Canei Peach Wine, Permo Rose, Brooklyn Smokes Cigar Co, and KP Customized Kreationz Fruits were among the featured brands, as well as Brooklyn Smokes Cigar Co and KP Customized Kreationz Fruits.

The five-hour two-room event served as both a brand exposure opportunity for Black Owned Wines and Spirits and an opportunity for professionals to educate attendees about their sector. Sunshine Foss, owner of Happy Cork, a wine and spirits travel business with a community focus, spoke about how she got into the industry, her hardships as a minority, overcoming preconceptions, and her accomplishments. Because there is a misconception that African Americans know nothing about wine, hearing from Foss was an exciting element of the event for both guests and the founders, as it challenged the stereotype of Blacks in the wine and spirit industries.

The Sip NYC Inc. has created an opportunity for more Black winemakers to receive the recognition they deserve and more Black people to work in the wine industry. Portions of the proceeds from the event will benefit 501c3 organization Bonello Foundation Inc. Bonello Foundation Inc. brings awareness and assistance to Brooklyn residents such as food (#FeedBrooklyn program), toiletries, and any other resources needed. Bonello Foundation, during the pandemic, fed over 400 families weekly. 

Black Owned

What makes The Sip NYC Inc. different?  

Unfortunately, the black-owned companies don’t have the resources or opportunities as the others do to market in the mainstream. A Study was released by Purdue University Purdue d-Pubs in 2014, compared to the average adult, African Americans wine drinkers are 241% more likely to have spent $20 or more on a bottle of store-bought wine.Unfortunately, marketing strategies are not catered to the growing African American wine drinkers. The Sip NYC Inc is expanding an aggressive marketing strategy through networks, grassroots, and media to all ethnic groups eager to be included in the growing wine and spirit tastings market.