Thanks to The Notorious B.I.G., countless people aspire to sip champagne when they are thirsty—but who says you have to stop there? This Brooklyn-bred beauty using her love for the bubbly deliciousness to build an empire.
Heading out for a night on the town, Marvina Robinson’s love for champagne earned her the nickname, “Champagne Chick” amongst her friends. Oh, how life comes full circle!
Using her love for French champagne as her inspiration, the finance professional later took a leap of faith and embarked on a journey to create her very own line of champagne, Stuyvesant Champagne. The goal? To take her champagne bar—which is currently in the works—to the top tier.
“I’m a girl from Brooklyn, NY who loves champagne,” Marvina told BET Digital exclusively about her famed moniker. “Most of my friends know when I go out, there is a 98.9% chance I am drinking bubbles.”
You may be asking yourself, how does someone who loves their career in Finance pivot to become a full-time entrepreneur? It all started after a downsizing at her company served as perfect timing to fulfill her dream to open her very own champagne bar in her beloved Bed-Stuy.
“When I was younger owning my own company was not in my plans. I was not interested,” Marvina, who has a BS in Biology from at Norfolk State University and MA in Statistics from Columbia University, shared.
She continued, “In 2013, the entrepreneur bug caught me. I was nervous about making the leap and [I decided to take] small steps. Even in 2019, I was still nervous.”
In the big city, Marvina knew she needed something to make her bar different and unique. What better way to do this than to launch her own house brand named after the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood she was raised? Introducing Stuyvesant Champagne.
Traveling to France, the 43-year-old concocted the perfect champagne that has even celebrities talking, including TV-host Tamron Hall.
“I’m a bubble queen and if I did not believe in it I would not have my name on it,” Marvina proudly proclaimed.
Sadly, being a Black champagne guru didn’t come without its complications.
“Whew, it’s a lot of work,” Marvina detailed. “Not many vineyards want to work with outsiders of the region. It is a lot of time invested. It is not cheap and it is a gamble.”
She continued, “I took a chance on myself and will always do so. I put a lot of my personal desires on hold to bring the champagne to life. This is not the first time working in an industry where I was not the norm," before adding, “For me it was personal. I was nervous to leave a stable income to branch out. Now my mentality is let’s go."
Thanks to her can-do spirit, the public can buy Stuyvesant Champagne on the company’s website and several shops in Brooklyn, including Happy Cork, a black-owned liquor shop.
In honor of Black History Month, we decided to ask the tastemaker her opinion on Black people owning their own business.
On Why It’s Important To For Black People To Launch Their Own Business:
“I think it is important for Black people to start their own businesses because it creates independent revenue, something to call your own, the opportunity the build a business/brand from scratch and, depending on the business and location, it builds your community up (the primary reason why I am the champagne bar in Bedford Stuyvesant).”
On Why She Found It Necessary To Have Her Champagne Sold At Happy Cork:
“The owner of Happy Cork, Sunshine, was a supporter from the early days and always took me seriously. I visit her shop frequently because it is Black-owned, woman-owned, and I loved the customer service I received every time I walked in. I am a loyal person. When I started talking about creating my own champagne brand, I got the ‘yeah ok’ look [from some people]. I never got that from Sunshine. She checked in with me, always gave me advice. Happy Cork is very dear to me.”
Lastly, The Affirmation She Recommends To Other Black Business Owners:
“PUSH!! JUST DO IT!”
As for what we can expect from Marvina in the future, she happily announced, “My champagne bar will be opening up end of this year, Coupette NYC it will definitely be a venue you want to stop by.”