Finding new and different bottles of bubbly can be intimidating and expensive to the casual champagne connoisseur. Everyone is familiar with the big bottle brands like Moet and Veuve but when the fizz fades on those typical glasses, how does one find a new favorite?
This was a challenge that best friends and champagne lovers Erica Davis and Catherine Carter encountered and accepted, resulting in the creation of their sparkling subscription service, The Sip Society.
“The Sip was inspired by my monthly girl’s nights with my best friend and now co-founder Catherine. It became hard to find a different brand we had not already tried, and then even harder to figure out where to purchase the bottle, and a ‘go-to’ for champagne discovery and it didn’t exist,” CEO and Founder Erica Davis tells The Manual. “So we decided to create our own!”
The Sip Society’s mission is to take the tension out of champagne tasting by creating a convenient, affordable, and fun way to discover new bubbly and not break the bank. They have made a way to introduce the world to an array of sparkling wine and champagne by delivering them directly to your door. Plus each bottle you pop comes with a sip of social responsibility through the brand’s community initiative, Take A Sip, Give A Sip.
Both being Oakland natives, the founder knew that beyond creating a much-needed niche in the beverage industry, they wanted to use their platform to give back and uplift the community that helped them rise to the top. Davis and Carter pledge a portion of each Sip Society sale to the East Oakland Community Project (EOCP) a multi-service organization offering emergency and transitional housing in Alameda County. The Sip’s proceeds that are donated to EOCP go to providing access to clean water for women and children in need and to this day has seen over 670 gallons of water distributed to families in and around Oakland.
“We were raised here and now we are raising our children here and this city means a lot to us. It was important for us early on to build a fundamental give back program so as we flourish so does our city. “ adds Davis.
For some, creating a subscription-based service in the alcohol industry may seem like just a wine dream but the two entrepreneurs never let that put a cork in their passion. They have molded a model that fills a vital role in the marketplace but also offers consumers an additional pour of education and interaction with The Sip’s champagne community.
As Davis describes it, “Our focus on not just sparkling wine but the full discovery aspect from beginning to end. Our mission is yes to help you discover the wines but also to discover your own palate. We arm our Sippers with the right tools to make smart decisions when investing in a full-size bottle. The power of knowing what you like goes a long way.”
Thanks to their unique service and influence on social media the community of Sippers continues to grow. Davis and Carter invite all members of the Society to their virtual wine nights on IG Live and fireside Zoom chats where they discuss life, pop culture, and of course enjoy a sip of bubbly. For those who want to share the sip, they offer gifting of their services, and for the champagne curious their blog is brimming with resources on the latest trends and educational facts.
As the opportunities for the Sip Society to continue to flow, Carter and Davis are focused on making sure more women and Black-owned drinks brands have a full glass. In January they partnered with B. Stuyvesant Champagne, one of the few black and women-owned Champagne brands in the US, and are already planning more cheerful collaborations for the future. Like a fine wine, the plans for the Sip Society and its outreach will only get better over time and as Davis describes it, the hardest part of the process now is merely an aftertaste.
“We built this business so people who love this industry that feel left out can now see themselves there. So for us, it’s less about needing to feel included in an industry that has so often left us out, but building our own table and welcoming all. Create a business you are proud of and passionate about. Do it despite any historical information that would suggest you don’t belong there. Because you are enough, you do belong and deserve to follow your dream.”
For Women’s History Month, if you want to support a company founded by two mothers and celebrate with a bubbly on hand, check out The Sip’s selection of champagne subscriptions.
This feature is part of our Brands Giving Back Series, where we’ll bring you all the latest news on brands that are giving back to the community, and how you can support by shopping online.
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