Zero Gravity Giving – One Bottle at a Time

By Rebel Brown, Market Strategist and Turnaround Expert

Everything in life is a choice.   How you think about and make your choices is what determines your future.”  

Wise words from Martin Cody, Cellar Angel’s CEO,  in response to my question about why he started Cellar Angels.

As a full-time VP of a medical software company helping physicians practice better medicine, he and his wife also own a wine shop.  He loves sharing the wonderful world of wines, especially those he found in the Sonoma and Napa Valley, with his clients.   When the economy slipped, he felt the pain of his vintners friends  – who were backed up with excess wine as people began to eat out less and less.

Martin was determined to not be swept up in the fear of the new economy in all its negativity.  He wanted to find a way to help others thrive in this new, changing economy  – specifically the small wineries.

He also wanted to give back.   As he’ll tell you, giving is that a winery’s DNA – there’s something about grapes that makes those who work in them want to share.  He felt the same – and was drawn to creating an organization to support charity as well as offer great wine.

And so he cofounded Cellar Angels with his wife.  He then hired several people, brought in individuals smarter than he to create a website and unprecedented access to some of Napa and Sonoma’s best wines. And Cellar Angels began. 

Martin is a big believer in small business – and the small wineries were the ones that being hurt in the new economy.   Cellar Angels works with small wineries to help them connect directly with customers bypassing hefty markups by distributors and retailers.  These are wines not often found in local stores, but rather gracing higher end restaurants due to their limited supply.  Cellar Angel customers get great wines at lower cost than they would ever see through regular distribution channel.

Each and every wine purchase from Cellar Angels supports charity.  Cellar Angel’s donates a portion of proceeds to the charity of your choice (from their supported charities, each and every one a great choice.)

Since Cellar Angels launched last October, they’ve held seven “virtual” events –where members have access to hidden wine gems and helped seven different small business wineries to have a larger national audience– supporting their success in this new economy. Those seven events have helped seven small wineries, supoprted charities and shared great wine at reasonable prices with the Cellar “angels”.

The virtual events also reflect Martin’s passion to share with others.   As he told me, “Not everyone gets to see the beauty of a Napa or Sonoma vineyard.  Or get to meet these incredible people behind these great wines.  I’m blessed to get to do both as part of my business.  I wanted our customers to share in each wineries glory – so we designed the events to do just that.”

Each virtual event includes dramatic videos of the winery properties themselves, along with interviews with the people in the wineries, often the owners themselves.  These videos (which Martin shoots and produces himself by giving exceptional art & film students a chance to gain valuable experience, or local film crews) bring the magic and culture of each individual small business to Cellar Angels’ members.   All members, Martin calls them “our angels” purchasing wine from the winery via Cellar Angels will also have the opportunity to participate in a private webinar with the winemaker to learn more about the wine and meet the person behind it.

Every purchase makes a difference to a charity and the winery.  Here’s a great example.  Let’s say you buy six bottles of wine for an average price $30, that purchase could provide a physical eye exam,  eye glasses for one child, four hot nutritious meals for one child, transportation to school through dangerous neighborhoods or even feed and shelter a stray animal for nearly three weeks.  Thanks to Ounce of Prevention, ASPCA and By The Hand.

Cellar Angels is running its next event beginning tomorrow.  As a special  offer –  we’re opening that event to all of you –  so that you can experience the magic of Cellar Angels,  and help a winery and the charity on your way.

Check out this beautiful event –  and if you love great wine,  make purchases.  we can all help each other.

It’s a great chance to be an Angel!

Visit Rebel’s website: http://rebelbrown.com/rebelations/2011/2/21/zero-gravity-giving-one-bott…

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