Black women are the latest innovators in the spirits industry around the world, and we can’t have enough of that.
Nichole Johnson is the latest woman to pay attention to. In less than two years, she helped various spirits and alcohol brands to take off in over 15 countries. However, she finally decided to do something for herself in a white-dominated industry.
A Story To Toast To
Johnson is now the proud owner and founder of Lapin Rouillé Champagne. This is the United Kingdom’s first Black-owned champagne brand.
It is made from Pinot Meunier grapes that come from Massif de Saint-Thierry in the French city of Reims. This variety of champagne is quickly becoming popular around the world.
Johnson revealed that she saw a gap in the market which allowed her to show that it’s possible to have a champagne brand tailored to the masses.
She founded Lapin Rouillé Champagne to showcase her company’s skill set and to honor her inspiration and the company’s original first lady, her late Nana, Hazel Brown.
Lapin Rouillé stands for Rusty Rabbit, according to Johnson. This was a term of endearment that her Nana gave her.
Johnson’s Nana used to call someone her Rusty Rabbit if she loved them and cared for them. By naming the brand after her, Johnson is paying tribute to her Nana in her own way.
Johnson also named her company Rusty Rabbit International. Its drinks division is Rusty Rabbit Drinks, and Lapin Rouillé Champagne is the division’s first release.
Other than releasing its own drinks, the company helps clients’ wine and spirits brands to grow around the world.
Johnson Against the World
Johnson has found success. However, it wasn’t smooth sailing all the way. Lapin Rouillé Champagne is a brand that showcases the ingenuity of African traditions, culture, and inventions.
She has obviously faced some friction for being a Black woman daring to enter an industry dominated by generations of white men.
However, the story, quality, and success of the products she works with have ensured she is a force to reckon with.
In the next 10 years, Johnson hopes for Rusty Rabbit International to be a part of culture. She wants it to be a part of music, fashion, and food. She is also planning on global distribution.
For now, Johnson hopes for consumers to see that Rusty Rabbit is a brand that wants to cultivate, inspire and produce stellar spirit and wine brands for all.