We had the good fortune of connecting with Hilary Cocalis and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Hilary, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?

I’ve always had an entrepreneurial mindset. Even as a kid, all of my games with friends involved me running some type of business–a store, a restaurant, even a McDonald’s drive-through. As an adult I’ve always jotted down random ideas for businesses in notebooks or on my phone. Plus, I recently realized I am a fourth-generation entrepreneur (!), so maybe it’s something even deeper – something in my DNA?

And now Sipwell Wine Co. is my first legitimate venture into starting my own company. After having kids, I thought a lot about what would be the most fulfilling step for my career, one I could be proud of and serve as an example to my girls. And I thought back on my childhood make-believe businesses, and realized it was time to create a real business of my own.

Now I love being an entrepreneur – the challenges, the lessons learned, and especially the “tiny victories” (that’s even one of the names of our wines!).

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
We’re Sipwell, premium California wine with a can-do spirit. Our sparkling wines are naturally can-conditioned, meaning the bubbles are created right in the can via fermentation. All of our wine is sourced from sustainably farmed vineyards in California’s Central Coast, and our aluminum cans are infinitely recyclable.

Our mission is to make great-tasting wine for whoever you are and wherever you want to go. We have a three-pronged “Sip Responsibly” pledge: we’re responsible to ourselves (drinking in moderation), responsible to the planet (producing sustainably), and responsible to each other (fostering community & inclusion).

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?

Being a local Leucadian, I want to spotlight some of my favorite spots to eat & drink in my backyard.

Breakfast:
There are so many great places for coffee (Lofty, Pannikin, Coffee Coffee), and Pannikin has THE best cinnamon roll in San Diego County.

Lunch:
I’d pick up some picnic supplies from Prager Bros (their sandwiches are amazing!) and Venissimo Cheese and head to Beacons or Grandview.

Drinks:
When I’m feeling fancy, I head to the bar at Jeune et Jolie for cocktails and a super-unique wine list.

Dinner at home:
Grilling up some Cardiff Crack from Seaside Market, served with veggies from our garden and a fresh loaf of bread from Prager Bros.

Dinner out:
There are so many great restaurants in North County. Campfire, Jeune et Jolie, Wrench & Rodent, and Dija Mara are my date night go-to’s, and I love all of my local Leucadia spots:  Buona Forchetta, Birdseye Kitchen, Fish 101, Corner Pizza, Kai Ola, and Hamburger Hut.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Where do I begin on the shoutouts?? There are many people who have influenced the person I am today, and these are the ones that deserve most of the credit:

My husband Luke, for being in my corner always

My parents, for always pushing me to follow my interests, even if they bucked tradition

My girlfriends, for being constant sources of encouragement and laughter
So many other coaches, bosses, and mentors for steering me in the right direction.
And my daughters, for being my reason to keep going & keep trying.

Website: www.sipwell.co

Instagram: @sipwell.co

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/sipwell-wine-co

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