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Our Story

Neither one of us are comfortable talking about ourselves. From the beginning, we didn’t want this company to be about us, we wanted it to be about you! Unfortunately for us, many have expressed interest in our story: Jaywalking Magazine, The Cheese Chronicles and NoSheDidn’ to name but a few. So grab a bottle of wine or two and here we go! (This is how Dawn and I look after being up for 24 hrs, and don’t you think a true friend would have powdered my forehead, lol.)

Dawn and Dawn 1987

We were two one time waitresses who met while working at a restaurant together in Oak Lawn, IL circa 1985. Billy Idol, Billy Ocean and the Eurythmics (Sweet Dreams are made of cheese!) provided the jams that made it possible for us to dance into the wee hours. To say that we had fun, barely scratches the surface or Ipad whatever your pleasure. Sometimes after work, we would head over to Dawn’s parents house for a night swim. We would share a bottle of White Zinfandel, laugh and float. How her parent’s tolerated our late night escapades is beyond me. This was the first time either of us had tried wine since Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill and we were loving it. Thank you Robert Mondavi for taking us to level 2.

Fast forward through many years of our children’s parties, vacations, deaths, career changes and many bottles of (really cheap) wine and let’s get to how Grateful Grapes Wine Company began.  I had attended a 5k run to support a small boy in Romeoville with CP. The run was the Super Manny Shuffle. I never understood why my good friend Dawn would wake up early on the weekend to run in a 5k. When I’m wrong about something, I’m really wrong. The event was so much more than I had anticipated. The vibe was so supportive and caring. The cool thing was, there were: an abundace of bromances, family fun, girl’s morning outs everywhere I turned. In just a couple of hours, people had exercised for themselves and gave back to this small boy, a true win win. I got weepy. The dance beats were insane and the kids in super hero costumes were way too much. I came away thinking, the shelves are saturated with cheeky wines, why not have a fun wine with meaning. A wine that represents something really positive in society today, run/walk events. I wanted to produce a label that gave back on a local scale, in the same way as the run/walk events so often do.  I then approached Dawn with Mission Impossible style finesse. First a really good Cab and then velvety chocolate (to be truthful it was a 2lb bar). I laid out my idea about a wine label and how we could combine our passions for giving back, great wine and run/walk events.  I’m so lucky to have such an amazing supportive partner. This has been quite the journey, and I wouldn’t change a thing!

*disclaimer: We did it the hard way, level 1: Mad Dog 20/20, Boone’s Farm, White Zin, Black Cat, and Bartles and James.

We are so grapeful for all of those who have helped us with our little horse trailer wine company.

Now, enough about us, we want to hear from you!

Dawn and Dawn 2016