The blend wine shop in Brooklyn’s Tribeca neighborhood.
(Courtesy of Vineshop NYC) The blend is the brainchild of a pair of New Yorkers who had been drinking wine at their local restaurant.
The owners, both Brooklyn natives, decided to start a new business after they stumbled upon the blend.
“We thought, ‘What if we make a blend?'” says Matt Friesen, a Brooklyn-born bartender.
“What if you made a wine and you mixed it with different foods?
What if you gave it to people who loved it?”
After working out their business plan, the two decided to take their blend concept to Whole Foods.
“It took about a month,” Friesens says.
“We were in the midst of trying to sell our stuff.
We were in negotiations with all these different retailers and the whole thing was in limbo.”
Friesens and his partners began making their blend in May and by the end of the year, they were ready to roll out their blend to Whole Food stores.
“The market was really open,” he says.
“I was really surprised to see how many people were buying the blend,” says Friesons’ wife, Mary, a pastry chef.
“There were people from all over New York and California.”
The blended wine has been popular for years, but Friesnes says that it’s still in its early stages.
“I think it’s really going to be a very interesting market,” he adds.
The two started by selling blended wine at Whole Foods and eventually expanded to other grocery stores.
Frieses says that he was able to sell about two to three bottles of the blend each week.
Friesen and his partner hope to launch the blended wine chain at other Whole Foods locations in the near future.
“They will be doing their own mixology,” he explains.
“So we’ll do a lot of our own blends and we’ll have a brand new menu.”
“The blend is just the brain of what we’re trying to do,” Frysen says.
The company also plans to introduce an expanded wine menu to its stores that includes a limited edition blend.
“A lot of people are asking if they can get the blend at Whole Food,” Foldsen says, “and we will definitely be open to that.”