Doctor, Wife & Mother of Three Launches Michigan-Based Luxury Wine | Food and Drinks | Detroit
When Michigan-born Dr LaToya Thompson began learning about wine, it was to curb his own curiosity about how grapes got from vine to bottle. Wine was more than a relaxation after work, and learning more became a hobby, one that her husband noticed and suggested that she take up the business.
“My husband is the entrepreneur, he’s a businessman, and he said to me, ‘We spend a lot of money on wine, we have to make money out of it,’ says Thompson. “It was just like ‘let’s examine it’, and it all fell on our knees.”
From this conversation, Thompson, a sports medicine physiotherapist, began to take steps to turn his hobby into a business. She logged on to a Napa Valley winery, learned how to get the proper liquor license, and even hired her sister, who happens to be a lawyer, to help her out with legal matters.
Although Thompson has done much of the legwork herself and continues to be involved in all aspects of her business, she has enlisted the help of another local winemaker.
“I really didn’t have a lot of people leading me on the business side,” says Thompson. “Regina Gaines of House of Pure Vin has been quite important in supporting him and helping him on his own, in terms of who to talk to and the different avenues to follow.”
In 2017, Thompson began the journey to create Opulence Wine and after nearly five years the brand is about to launch with the release of two wines: a Cabernet Sauvignon that sells for around $ 52 and a Pinot Grigio that sells for around $ 52. sells for around $ 26.
When it came to naming his brand, Thompson wanted consumers to feel like they were having a truly luxurious experience. She says that in the African American community, luxury is sometimes something that most find it difficult to enjoy fully and comfortably.
“In African American culture, sometimes we tend to avoid luxury things or it’s a disconnect from what we should have and deserve; that we shouldn’t have these beautiful things because we’re black or colored, ”says Thompson. “I don’t think it’s necessarily always fair, even with the wine industry we’re growing as people of color in this industry, but it’s certainly not an easy feat.
Although Opulence Wine officially launches on October 7, Thompson is already thinking about the future of his wine brand. She plans to release a red blend later this year and hopes to release a sparkling wine in early 2022.
Opulence Wine will host its official brand launch and tasting experience at 6 p.m. on Thursday, October 7 at House of Pure Wine, 1433 Woodward Ave., Detroit.
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