Learn how ONEHOPE Wine, a wine producer with a charitable mission, began supporting and caring for frontline workers in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
has a beautiful way of banding together in times of turmoil – the more
fortunate helping the needy, the overworked, the disadvantaged. While it’s easy
to get lost in the daily COVID-19 headlines and statistics, it’s important to
recognize that there’s a lot of good going on in the world.
I’m proud to present Insperity’s new blog series, Good Business, showcasing companies that have adapted to meet the needs of this uncertain time and to give back to their communities. Let these stories be a beacon of compassion, hope and optimism that together we will persevere and work toward a brighter tomorrow. – Larry Shaffer, senior vice president of marketing and business development
you’re a healthcare professional coming home after a long shift caring for patients
suffering from COVID-19 and other ailments. On the way to your front door, you spy a care
package. Opening it up, you discover a note of gratitude, sauces, marinades and
other kitchen essentials for a comforting meal.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, 800 healthcare workers have received these care packages from ONEHOPE Wine, a direct-to-consumer wine producer dedicated to charitable giving. ONEHOPE’s Healthcare Heroes program, one of two dedicated to caring for frontline workers, is just the latest of nearly 13 years of philanthropic endeavors that germinated from a simple idea and the collaboration of friends.
A seed, planted
One October nearly 15 years ago, inspiration struck Jake Kloberdanz, then a newly minted wine industry professional, in a California grocery store. Standing in a sea of pink – an assortment of branded products designed to support breast cancer awareness and research – he wondered:
Why isn’t there a wine producer that supports philanthropic causes? And why couldn’t a brand support worthwhile charities year round?
Later, he shared his revelation with his seven coworkers, all of whom were working for the world’s largest wine distributor.
At the end of the month, [the special promotions] went away. But, obviously, breast cancer didn’t.
“At the end of the month, [the special promotions] went away. But, obviously, breast cancer did not,” recalled Kristen Shroyer, one of the coworkers with whom Kloberdanz shared his idea.
Kloberdanz and the gang – each fresh out of college – were
merchandising grocery store displays from 3:30 a.m. until 3 in the afternoon.
“Because of our crazy schedules, we became best friends,”
Nothing came of his idea for nearly two years. Yet, when Kloberdanz’s
close friend was diagnosed with blood cancer, he suddenly was driven to start
the company the group had envisioned.
“He gave us each a call, said he’d started the company we’d
dreamed about, and asked us ‘Are you in?’ We all quit our jobs and moved to Southern
California,” Shroyer said.
Fast forward more than a decade, and that shared vision
brewed over a succession of happy hours has grown into ONEHOPE Wine, one of the
nation’s largest direct-to-consumer wine companies.
Good will and good wine
Each bottle of ONEHOPE Wine sold supports a charitable
cause. Their California Brut Sparkling Wine helps feed hungry children. The
Vintner Collection California Red Blend supports a veteran-run program to
provide disaster relief. Their Chardonnay funds breast cancer research.
ONEHOPE also empowers its customers to support a nonprofit
of their choice by becoming a preferred customer or hosting a private wine
tasting fundraiser with a wine representative. The company refers to the
representatives as “cause entrepreneurs,” a phrase that reflects their drive to
earn money while giving back to the world. There are currently over 4,000 cause
entrepreneurs in 41 states across the country.
“Our cause entrepreneurs live and breathe our mission, share
wine and give hope,” said Shroyer, now executive director of the ONEHOPE
Foundation. “And it’s a community of 99% women.”
Since 2007, ONEHOPE Wine has donated nearly $5 million,
planted more than 100,000 trees and provided meals for more than 2.7 million
children – among many other charitable accomplishments.
In the wake of COVID-19, ONEHOPE is turning its attention
and resources to serving two groups of people directly impacted by the
pandemic: healthcare and hospitality industry workers.
Caring for frontline workers
When the pandemic began overwhelming healthcare
facilities, Shroyer said she and her team wanted to look for ways to help.
They established ONEHOPE’s Healthcare Hero program to send care
packages filled with Napa Valley hospitality directly to healthcare workers.
Shroyer anticipates this program will continue to grow – thanks to incoming
nominations and online support via the
“I have never received such a thoughtful gift in the 30
years that I have been a nurse,” said one recipient healthcare worker.
ONEHOPE saw another opportunity, too – one tied directly to the
folks who were vital to ONEHOPE’s success: hotel and restaurant workers.
When we work together, there’s no problem humanity can’t solve.
Alongside online orders and the work of the company’s cause entrepreneurs, hospitality sales long accounted for a significant portion of the company’s pre-pandemic income. Sadly, mandatory closures forced many of ONEHOPE’s clients to make tough choices.
“Our brand was initially built in restaurants and hotels,
and is served at over 10,000 accounts nationwide,” Shroyer said. “We wanted to
come up with a way to help those affected in the hospitality industry, brighten
their days a little … put a little money in their pockets.”
In response, the company set up the Mothers in Hospitality
Relief Fund. The program provides $100 micro-grants to a special subset of
out-of-work hospitality workers and has already funded $60,000 in grants,
helping 600 mothers and their families during this difficult time.
“In such a trying time,” shared one recipient, the mother of
a seven-month-old baby, “this is a beautiful glimmer of positivity.”
One hope, firm roots
Today most of the founders remain involved with the company,
with Kloberdanz serving as CEO and Shroyer overseeing the ONEHOPE Foundation.
And that early passion the friends had for sharing good wine
and spreading goodwill? It remains at the heart of every sale and charitable
Shroyer says the company will continue to look for ways to
help – this year and beyond. After all, philanthropic endeavors are central to
the company’s origin story: a group of friends coming together after work to
dream big dreams.
“When we work together, there’s no problem humanity can’t solve,” Shroyer said. “That simple idea inspired Jake to start ONEHOPE and has driven us to help change the world for the better ever since.”
To read more stories about Insperity clients making a difference in their communities – like ONEHOPE’s program caring for frontline workers – please visit our Community Heroes page.