The Kansas City Jewish Chronicle spoke with our Director of Marketing, Yosef Silver, about his vision for building a community of Kosher Wine lovers in the US. The interview below was originally published on February 5, 2015.
Kosher wine lovers listen up. A local man recently got tapped to lead all the marketing efforts for KosherWine.com.
Kosher wine consumers in the greater Kansas City area will definitely benefit from his new job. On Jan. 1 Yosef Silver became director of marketing and customer experience at KosherWine.com, its parent company the Kosher Wine Group and its sister company Jwines. Prior to this appointment he worked in marketing for a local company and freelanced for the Kosher Wine Group for about two years.
KosherWine.com was started in 1997 and has been a pioneer in the e-commerce wine business. It was started in 1997, and, Silver said, it offers the largest selection of kosher wines in the nation.
In his new job he wants to start creating a community of kosher wine lovers both from within and outside of the Jewish community.
“There are some very highly-rated wines out there that may not be limited to the kosher market and I’d love to see our brand expand even further,” explained Silver during a meeting in his Overland Park office.
One of the first things he is doing as KosherWine.com’s marketing director is planning a series of tasting events around the country, free for members of the company’s wine clubs. The premier tasting is scheduled to be held in the Kansas City area on Thursday, Feb. 19. Participants will learn more about KosherWine.com’s private labels and exclusive imports that will become available this year.
“We will be tasting eight or nine wines starting at the $20 price range and every price point up to the $80 price point,” Silver explained.
The event is free for KosherWine.com wine club members; $35 for individuals or $60 for couples. Wine club memberships are sold on the website and can be purchased in 12-month, 6-month or 3-month increments.
“Wine club members get a monthly shipment of two or three bottles of wine depending on what they choose,” he explained. “Members can select either just red or red and white. It’s really great for someone who is looking to discover new wines and wants to see what’s out there.”
He hopes to cap the event at 25 people so that it’s an intimate group where people can easily discuss the wines they are tasting. Only a handful of tickets are still available. If more people are interested, Silver said he may move the event to a larger location or plan a second event soon. Five percent of the proceeds from wine purchased at the event will be donated to the Vaad HaKashruth of Greater Kansas City. A link to purchase tickets is available on the KosherWine.com Facebook page or Silver can be contacted directly at email@example.com for more information.
If this event is well received, Silver hopes to plan more events here. He’s also had interest from organizations in Colorado and Ohio.
“I’m happy to partner with organizations to put on events, caterers who need wine for events and even wine-tasting parties at people’s private homes. We’re working with a company to be able to provide the wine, the cheese, the cork screws, the olives … everything you need plated and just shipped to you so if you want to have a six-person tasting at your home or a 100-person tasting for your synagogue, my goal is that we can do that in one phone call for you.”
As a wine club member himself before he became employed by the company, Silver said he used to collect all the wine he purchased throughout the year and use it for Passover.
“By the time Passover came around I had this great selection of really cool wines and I didn’t have to buy them all in one month,” said Silver, noting that not all wines are kosher for Passover but the vast majority of them are.
Silver said the company is really gearing up for Passover, making plans for customers to have a good experience with every order, especially during the holiday season. Making customers happy is his first priority in his new job.
“I want to make sure the questions are answered, I want to make sure the people are enjoying the specials, getting the best experience possible,” he said.
The company already has three exclusive imports from Chile, Spain and Israel. Silver said it will expand on the exclusive imports this year and begin offering its own private label wines soon.
“I’m hoping our first private label is going to be available in the next three or four weeks. It’s on the ship, we just have to get it,” he said, adding that they are definitely expected to be ready by Passover.
KosherWine.com has also hired a fine wine consultant who will establish a concierge service for customers. It will be targeted to those who have wine collections in their homes or who are “really looking for the very best wine out there.”
Silver said there are already a lot of kosher wine collectors on both coasts. He hopes to expand the market for those interested in kosher wines here by educating people about kosher wine and the fact that wine can legally be shipped to both Kansas and Missouri.
A foodie who has been writing a food blog, This American Bite, since 2010, the perks of this new job include attending the annual Kosher Food and Wine Experience later this month in New York. This will be the third time Silver has attended the event and he said it’s the only time of the year when kosher winemakers from around the world congregate in one place.
“You get to sample some of the best wines in the world and taste some great food,” he said.
A native of the United Kingdom, Silver first became familiar with this area in the summer of 2009 when he and his wife Daniela volunteered for American Jewish Studies Service, building houses for Habitat for Humanity. They liked the area, studied it and visited it a few times before deciding to settle here in 2011. They live in the eruv and are active members of Congregation BIAV.
“We’ve got a great thing going on in Kansas City. I think the world of e-commerce is making it easier for anyone in a smaller town to get anything they want. It might be fresh fish from Seattle or it might be kosher wine from D.C. We’re living in a day and age where you can get those things within a week or even three days.”