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Let Happy Cork, Sunshine Foss’ Black and minority-focused spirits store brighten your day

Let Happy Cork, Sunshine Foss’ Black and minority-focused spirits store brighten your day

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Sunshine Foss is the founder of Happy Cork in Brooklyn, New York, which is so much more than a wine and spirits shop and even counts array of celeb fans from John Legend to Mary J. Blige, Issa Rae and more. Since opening its doors in 2019, Sunshine has provided a platform for amazing, underserved brands that are often overlooked by the industry. 

The Happy Cork team recognizes the challenges faced by minority-owned brands in gaining visibility and exposure in a highly competitive market and carries the widest selection of Black- and minority-owned brands. By dedicating shelf space to these brands, the store aims to create an equal playing field and amplify the voices of entrepreneurs who often go unrecognized. 

“When I first ventured into the world of wine and spirits, I knew I needed to give a platform to these underserved, amazing brands that were often overlooked,” said Foss. “It’s now become my passion to highlight and show these wonderful brands while catering to the community surrounding us.” 

Sunshine is so much more than a shop owner. She is a trailblazer in the wine and spirits space and a community connector. She wanted to make sure Happy Cork was a place where people not only get the very best, diverse products but also feel that it’s a space that was created for them with their needs in mind. 

“We’ve had so many interesting and fulfilling moments since we opened our doors in 2019.  We carry the largest assortment of Black-owned wines and spirits in the country, so our collection began to quickly grow.  We were running out of storage space, so I began storing all of the Black-owned bottles on the very top shelves.  One day a customer came in and glanced at the assortment, got the story from one of our team members about who we are, what we do, and that all of the Black-owned bottles were featured on the top shelf.  After hearing this, the next words out of his mouth were ‘Oh, we top shelf baby,’ and that absolutely melted my heart because this was exactly what I wanted our community to feel when they walked in, and it was summed up in one line by a customer who is as loyal to this day,” said Foss. 

Happy Cork is truly a happy place made for the community to find joy upon entering and hosts regular tastings and engaging events throughout the year. In addition, the team collaborates with other small businesses to help cultivate new connections and brand support. The store is thoughtfully designed by Foss whose love for design greatly influenced the feel and product selection. From the wood pallet cash wrap to the tree stump hanging display, the store features upcycled and recycled merchandise along with an amazing assortment of products. Foss spared no detail as well in their incredible tasting room – it gives grandma chic vintage vibes. 

“One quote that’s resonated with me over the years has been ‘go someplace that was actually built for you and not a place that you’re welcomed.’ I think that comes through in the spaces that we’ve built. We’ve built these spaces for the community. It’s not the fact that you are welcome here, this was built for you. And that’s what’s kept us going and growing,” she explained. 

If you aren’t in the area, the Happy Cork team will ship any product nationwide. Their wine club is perfectly curated and a great idea for anyone who loves having monthly deliveries of new, amazing products on the market. Starting at $85, you will not be disappointed at the selection sent.

Happy Cork