I love finding a refreshing and tasty drink for the summer. This next small business created one on the heels of the canned seltzer boom. DJ and Brody DiBuono set out to make a canned champagne cocktail that people could enjoy with friends, family, at the beach, on a rooftop, at a BBQ, etc., and their final product is one I would buy to do all of the above. Not to mention the star of their brand is their adorable dog Berkeley! So, let’s learn more about Champé Handcrafted Berkshire Bubbly and how you can get your hands on some!
Business Name: Champé Handcrafted Berkshire Bubbly
Owners: DJ DiBuono Brodi DiBuono
Established Year: May 2020
Location: Berkshires, MA
Tell us about your business and the story behind its creation!
DJ comes from a family of entrepreneurs.
His Grandfather and Grandmother owned Mario’s restaurant in New Lebanon, NY (Winner of Best Restaurant in the Berkshires) which is now owned by his Mother, Aunt, and Uncle. DJ’s Uncle and Wife own 2 additional restaurants – The Roasted Garlic and Zucchinis Restaurant in Pittsfield, MA. DJ’s other grandparents owned diners. DJ’s great uncle built diners. DJ’s other uncle and two cousins own food service companies.
After college, DJ was working in NYC in a finance position. The brunch scene was insane – clubs during the day, bottomless mimosas, champagne cocktail bars. After 3 years, DJ moved back to upstate NY and was set to open Albany, NY’s only rooftop bar with his uncle. The focus would be on upscale bar food and craft champagne cocktails. For a few reasons, we never moved forward with the venture. The idea of champagne cocktails stayed with him. After the hard seltzer boom he thought “no one is making canned champagne cocktails”. Champé was born!
We decided to use our dog who we rescued as a puppy – Berkeley Valentine DiBuono as our mascot for 2 reasons. Wherever we went, people would ALWAYS remember Berkley and his big beautiful blue eyes. We knew he would be memorable. Secondly, our company is a canned champagne cocktail company based on memories and celebrations! Our dog Berkley, whether he is getting his belly rubbed or going on a walk to his favorite swimming hole, is always waggling his tail and ready to make memories! He embodies everything we want our brand to be!
What products and services do you offer? What makes them unique?
Champé crafts premium sparkling wine canned cocktails. Our first flavor is our sparkling wine and peach flavor similar to a bellini. We are currently working on launching 2 more flavors in 2022!
Champé uses premium wine from the Finger Lakes region of NYS and real fruit juice. Our drink contains no added sugars or artificial flavors, is gluten free, and our best attribute – at 130 calories, our drink contains roughly 50% less in calories than traditional champagne cocktails.
What do you love most about running your own business and being a business owner?
Being an entrepreneur is in my blood. It is what I have wanted to be since I was 5 years old. The majority of my family is in the food and beverage space. This particular company is something a little different from your traditional food and beverage companies. What I truly love about this company is meeting people, celebrating, and making memories with them! We have a saying on our packaging – be a Champ(é)ion – A lover of life, defeater of odds, fighter of beliefs, achiever of goals, and, most importantly, an “I CAN” mindset in any situation. Champé Handcrafted Berkshire Bubbly will be here for all of those “I DID IT” moments! We want to celebrate with people on their wins no matter how big or small they may be!
What has been one of the most memorable experiences or opportunities that you’ve experienced since opening your business?
We love meeting new and returning people who enjoy our drink and brand. There have been so many great people we have met along the way. Ryan Sampson, host of Sirius XM’s Hits 1, tagged us on instagram drinking Champé on his boat and said this would be his official drink of the summer on his boat. Also, we were part of IGNITEU’s business accelerator program and made so many amazing friends and connections.
What advice would you give to aspiring business owners?
I would advise any business owner to do their homework, do their research, have a sound plan, and START! There will always be a million reasons to not do something. Regardless of the outcome, you will either succeed or you will learn. If either of those happen, there is no failure.