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Meet the Sommelier: Dana Spaulding, Founder of Wander + Ivy

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Dana Spaulding, Founder of Wander + Ivy

Meet the Sommelier: Dana Spaulding, Founder of Wander + Ivy

In April 2017, Dana Spaulding, certified level II Sommelier, founded Wander + Ivy. The company ships its patented, elegant single-serve glass wine bottles directly to 39 states and their wines are also available in major retailers in several states such as Whole Foods and Natural Grocers. They are currently gearing up for huge growth throughout 2021.

Broadwayworld had the pleasure of interviewing Dana to learn more about her career and Wander + Ivy.

Prior to creating Wander + Ivy, Dana spent 7 years with J.P. Morgan's Private Bank, managing assets for ultra-high net worth families. Most recently, Dana was a Vice President in the J.P. Morgan Rockies Market, covering the food and beverage industries, among others. Dana studied Economics and Business Administration at Fordham University in New York City and graduated Summa Cum Laude. While at Fordham, she also danced with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Dana currently lives in the Denver Highlands with her husband, Gus, daughter, Maelyn, and boxer, Tedy. She is on the ACE Scholarships Associate Board and in her spare time enjoys yoga, running, skiing, cooking and traveling with her family.

What special personal qualities or talents have enhanced your career?

Confidence and persistence are two qualities that have been crucial in founding the business.

Who have been some of your professional mentors or individuals that have inspired your work?

I am constantly inspired by other founders building new and exciting companies, particularly in the food and beverage industries.

Tell us a little about your travel experiences as a sommelier. This can be local, regional or international.

Since earning the title of sommelier, I founded a startup business, had a baby, and the world entered a global pandemic. Needless to say, my travel experiences have been limited. I have, however, had the wonderful opportunity to taste samples from potential winery partners around the world. The team and I are constantly tasting samples from Italy, Spain, France, New Zealand, Napa and more!

Why do you find your career as a sommelier so rewarding?

While earning the somm certifications, I developed a deep knowledge of wine and the wine industry. Expanding my knowledge and credibility in the industry was extremely beneficial in advance of creating a new and innovative company.

Creating a wine brand that consumers know and love is incredibly rewarding.

What is one of your favorite meals and what wine would you select for it?

I'm Italian and love all things pasta. A favorite meal is lasagna paired with our Red Blend.

Tell us a little about the restaurant or organization that you currently work with.

I founded Wander + Ivy in 2017. Today, Wander + Ivy is a certified woman- and disability-owned company providing premium wine in upscale single-serve packaging. All Wander + Ivy wines are produced by award-winning, family-owned vineyards around the world. Each year, Wander + Ivy donates 1-percent of total sales to a nonprofit providing healthy food to those in need. Varietals change seasonally and are available for purchase in select retail stores or online at https://www.wanderandivy.com/our-shop/.

Why did you choose to start Wander + Ivy?

I initially created Wander + Ivy out of a need that I personally had. One evening my husband asked me, "Are you really going to waste another bottle of wine?" I was frustrated because, yes, I wanted to enjoy a nice glass of wine after a long day; but yes, I hated to admit, he was right. I would likely waste the bottle by not finishing it.

I love wine. He loves whiskey. So we often find ourselves wasting bottles, because hey there is a time and place to have a full bottle of wine to yourself and for me it's not a weeknight! I sought out single-serve options, but found low-quality wine in cheap packaging and no organic options.

I soon discovered that many people were searching for a more premium, convenient and organic glass of wine to enjoy at the end of a long day. Hearing the positive response from and engaging with customers across the country is one of my favorite things about building this brand.

For more information on Wander + Ivy, please visit https://www.wanderandivy.com/.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Dana Spaulding


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