“We should be drinking to rebuild the reefs that we’ve lost, we should be drinking to save the bees, why are we just drinking?! There’s got to be something more than that!”
Berlin Crystal Kelly started off in finance but her heart was never in it. In her tiny West Village apartment, she built a laboratory of her dreams to experiment with home brewing, later joining the Homebrewer’s Guild and becoming an active member of that tight-knit community in the process.
Her vision was to turn her passion into something that would do good for the world, and she started investigating ways to test out her business model without incurring the big costs associated with opening a winery or distillery.
Discovering a company that had ready-bottled (and good!) California North Coast wine that she could re-label (and happened to pair well with oysters), Berlin tested her first batch of wine and Proud Pour Wine was born in 2014.
Since opening, Proud Pour has helped rebuild oyster reef ecosystems in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Maryland, Virginia, D.C., and North Carolina. And next up, they’ll be helping the Xerces Society restore bee habitats on farms across the United States with the profits from sales of their new product: an Oregon Pinor Noir.
Proud Pour can be found at proudpour.com and by following @proudpour on social and looking at #CheersToChange.
Cheers (to Change),
By The Bootstraps is my way of highlighting the stories of intrepid entrepreneurs as they bootstrap their way to success. Every week I’ll release a video (and sometimes audio version) of these conversations. If you’d like to read more about the project or submit your own entrepreneur story for consideration, visit here.