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Sunshine Foss Elevates Black and Minority-Owned Wine and Spirits at Happy Cork by Raising a Glass to Diversity

Nestled in the heart of Brooklyn, Happy Cork isn’t just your average wine and spirits shop. Founded by Sunshine Foss in 2019, this vibrant store has carved out a unique space by celebrating and championing the often-overlooked world of Black and minority-owned brands.

“Happy Cork was created with the goal of promoting and supporting black and minority-owned businesses within the wine and spirits industry,” Foss tells Modern Muze. “The inspiration behind it came from recognizing the need for a platform that highlights and celebrates these underrepresented brands. Brands that are typically not found on the shelves of various liquor stores.”

Courtesy of Happy Cork

Fueled by a passion for delicious drinks and a desire to empower underrepresented voices, Sunshine embarked on a mission to provide a platform for these exceptional but often overlooked brands. As a small business owner herself, she understood the challenges and triumphs faced by these communities, and Happy Cork serves as a testament to her commitment to fostering inclusivity and diversity within the industry.

“To ensure diversity and inclusion in our product offerings, we actively seek out and curate a wide selection of wines and spirits from black and minority-owned producers,” she explains. “This includes actively partnering with local wineries and distilleries to feature their products.”

Adding, “We are consistently looking for up-and-coming brands and new launches from the BIPOC community.”

Happy Cork is fostering community ties through its diverse programming

Stepping inside Happy Cork is like discovering a new world. With the largest selection of Black- and minority-owned wines and spirits in the country, the shelves are brimming with exciting and diverse options. But what truly sets this store apart is the dedication to quality. The Happy Cork team has personally tasted and approved every single bottle on the shelves, ensuring that each purchase is a guaranteed sip of satisfaction.

But the experience goes beyond the curated selection. Happy Cork recently unveiled a stunning tasting room, reminiscent of a New Orleans speakeasy, offering a space for intimate gatherings and immersive tastings. For those seeking a deeper connection with the world of wine and spirits, the store also boasts a thriving wine club, fostering a community of passionate oenophiles.

That’s not all, though. Through Happy Cork, Foss is contributing to broader social and economic empowerment.

“We are committed to educating and raising awareness among our customers about the significance of supporting black and minority-owned businesses in the wine and spirits industry,” she says. “We do this through various initiatives such as providing information about the history and contributions of these businesses, as well as promoting the economic empowerment that comes from supporting them.”

Continuing, “By doing so, they contribute to broader social and economic empowerment, creating a more inclusive and equitable industry.”

Happy Cork has gone beyond brick-and-mortar, opening a sister store and becoming a must-visit for travelers

If wine and spirits are not your thing, Happy Cork has gone beyond the traditional with Happy Bud, it’s sister store offering a curated selection of CBD and wellness products.

Sunshine’s vision has expanded too, offering nationwide shipping and bringing their unique selection and expertise to a wider audience. The store is quickly becoming a destination for visitors from all over the country and the world.

Happy Cork
Courtesy of Happy Cork

“To create an immersive experience for visitors, we go beyond simply offering a range of products,” she says. “We provide educational resources and storytelling about the featured brands, allowing customers to learn about the stories and cultures behind them. This helps to foster a deeper connection between consumers and the products they enjoy.  Our customers love knowing more and meeting the faces behind our amazing brands.”