When one visits the Braymar Wines website, they’re greeted with the slogan, “Wine a little and you’ll feel better,” accompanied by an adorable logo that looks like a child’s drawing. The cute sentiment speaks to owner Marlo Richardson’s main inspiration in starting her own wine label — inspiration that Richardson hopes will make heads turn.
The name Braymar comes from Richardson’s two children, Brayli and Marli. A wine fan since she opened her first restaurant in 2010, Richardson has seen how “a little wine” can go a long way in making a meal better, making customers happier, and helping restaurants stay on trend. After developing the idea amid the pandemic in 2020, Richardson unveiled Braymar Wines in July of 2022.
Breaking New Ground in the Wine Industry
According to industry statistics, only 0.1% of wineries are black-owned, and even less are owned by Black women. Richardson is a serial entrepreneur who has paved the way for other Black women in many industries, so she is no stranger to being a pioneer. She hopes that by venturing where few have dared, she will inspire others to consider breaking into not only the wine industry, but entrepreneurship as a whole.
Braymar is Richardson’s fourth venture in the food and wine industry. “After years of spending money buying wine and spirits, I decided it was time to create something of my own,” she says.
Richardson thrives on inspiring others. She includes a QR code on every bottle of Braymar Wine that will allow consumers to learn her story after they are charmed by the unique label. “I think every good wine has a good story to match the quality of the product. I want people to know my story and to be inspired by it,” she remarks.
A Distinctively California Taste
Braymar Wines and California culture go hand-in-hand. Richardson owns the distillery where the wine is produced, and the grapes are sourced from a top-tier winery in the Napa Valley. The result is a collection of fine wine tastes with notes of red berries, vanilla, and coffee in its red wine varieties, and citrus, green apple, and pineapple within the label’s Chardonnay.
“We believe in paying attention to the details,” says Richardson. Those details include sourcing high-quality products and genuinely listening to customers in her other food-industry businesses to produce the different varieties and tastes they were looking for. After considering the opinion of her trendy customers, Richardson created Braymar Wines with the flavors she knew would satisfy even discerning palates.
Making Memories and Creating a Legacy
Wine is strongly rooted in memory-making for Richardson. “Braymar was inspired by my desire to create memories with people I care about,” Richardson says, “Many of those lasting memories have occurred during a conversation that took place over a glass of wine.”
From weddings to summer parties and important dinners, wine often accompanies milestones, and Richardson hopes that Braymar Wines will be a part of people’s memory-making. She is hopeful that the custom blends she has created through Braymar will please even the pickiest wine connoisseur. More importantly, however, is Richardson’s joining of a growing wave of Black vintners looking to create lasting legacies for their families and the wine industry.
Richardson set out on her own years ago within the restaurant and beverage business because she wanted to pave her own way. “I wanted to be in control of my own destiny,” she explains.
With her consistent run of new ideas, innovative products, and a variety of ventures, Richardson stands to set a strong legacy in stone for her two daughters. “For me, being a business owner means freedom,” Richardson says, “not just in a financial sense, but also the freedom to pass down my knowledge and business to my children and others.”
Braymar Wines can currently be found in four locations across Los Angeles, including Stage 21 Bar and Lounge, Fat Tuesday, Delmonicos Steak and Lobster House, and The Meeting Place. For more information on Braymar Wines or where to buy them, visit www.braymarwines.com.
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