IRVING PARK — Meta Wine is using some of its wine sales to help hospitality workers struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Meta Wine announced Wednesday it’s donating 50 percent of the proceeds from its Better Day wines at Foxtrot Markets to out-of-work hospitality workers.
Meta Wine founder Walter Clements said he was scared for the future of not only his craft winery but for all his friends in the hospitality industry when the pandemic hit.
“While this definitely deals a big blow to our business, our customers and friends in the hospitality industry are staring right into the abyss, and we needed to find a way to help them,” Clements said.
By the time the coronavirus pandemic is over, Chicago could permanently lose up to 1,500 independent restaurants, industry experts predicted in April. As business continue to adapt to the pandemic and new social distancing rules, some have already closed for good while others have had to furlough or lay off employees.
Meta Wine, which has been around since 2017, doesn’t make wine in the traditional sense. Instead, Meta sources wine from a network of suppliers and uses them to create unique blends that can be customized to someone’s taste. These blends will be sold in cans, kegs and growlers alongside wine bottles.
Last year, Meta Wine announced plans to open a wholesale wine operation with a tasting room and shop at a cavernous former ice warehouse at 4300 W. Montrose Ave. The winery signed a lease for the 14,660-square-foot property in November.
“Like every startup company, we have limited resources — but we do have a really big space where we are planning our winery buildout, and we do literally have tons of wine,” Clements said.
Clements initially wanted to host a big benefit event to raise funds for hospitality workers, but as he spoke to more people he learned about Chicago Hospitality United, which has been raising money for hospitality workers by selling shirts and face masks.
“As we all began to see that big events wouldn’t be happening anytime soon, we aligned with Chicago Hospitality United and created Better Day to raise money immediately” by selling our wine, Clements said.
The Better Day label was designed by local artist and designer Louie Capozzoli as a way to support Chicago’s artist community, too, Clements said.
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