Ann Arbor Mom Emily Dabish Yahkind developed SolSummit premium canned wines with sustainable farming and business practices in mind.
Avid hiker and runner Emily Dabish Yahkind was looking for a fun way to celebrate at trail’s end. Yahkind and her husband often enjoyed a craft brew at the end of a journey. But what about a toast with a nice, portable wine? Something that could easily be toted in a backpack?
Yahkind thought about the idea for some time and began exploring the concept. Finally, after three years of development, SolSummit wines was born.
“I thought about SolSummit for the first time five years ago,” Yahkind said. “ I was frequently traveling and began to wonder about beautiful alternative packaging to complement premium products. For instance, why couldn’t fun packaging be paired with serious wine? Why do we have preconceived notions about how goods should appear and be delivered? What if we granted the same ethos to wine as we did to other products that are enjoyed with others during activities and occasions? I interpreted that as an opportunity to develop a premium trend-forward product that is sustainable both in packaging and development as well as easy to take on the go.”
Yahkind and her husband, who are both University of Michigan graduates, moved back to the Ann Arbor area during the pandemic. The active, outdoor culture of this community appealed to them, especially when they were ready to welcome a baby boy to the family.
“We spend significant time outdoors and are passionate about running and hiking,” Yahkind said. My husband and I are both avid runners. I completed my first marathon seven months after having my son! Athletics are a big part of our lives. We had the opportunity to reflect on our values and the environment we wanted to raise a family in, and Ann Arbor fit the bill.”
A wine that could easily be enjoyed outdoors seemed like the perfect concept.
“I realized that the joining together of goods that are premium and portable aptly fit into my love of running, hiking, and generally living outdoors,” Yahkind said.
Yahkind’s career has followed an interesting path, from technology startups to work with state and local governments (she is currently a planning manager for Superior Township). But through it all, she found time to incorporate wine education in her after work hours.
“I have long been a lover of wine and I’ve spent quite a bit of time getting to know the world of wine,” Yahkind said. “Whether that was during grad school, where I worked evenings during tastings at a wine shop owned by former French champagne makers, or while studying in the evening for certifications with the Court of Master Sommeliers.”
Yahkind sees her unique set of work experiences as the perfect blend for her new company.
“I’m passionate about work that benefits communities and helps to bring resources and people together,” Yahkind said. “I think my skills in government and advising startups have shaped the way I went about creating SolSummit.”
Yahkind worked with small, family-owned organic growers in California to develop wines that offer minimal intervention, while supporting sustainable business practices.
The product had its official launch in July, and SolSummit is available in rose, red wine blend, and Sauvignon Blanc. SolSummit wines can be found in select restaurants as well as over one hundred stores in the southeast Michigan area.
“This product is designed to hopefully appeal to a host of people, whether they are going on an adventure and want to toss a can in their backpacks, or going to the pool or a barbecue. The product also helps eliminate waste by providing smaller portions both at home and for those dining in restaurants.”
Getting to know Emily Dabish Yahkind:
Education? University of Michigan undergrad degree in political science, Master of Public Management at Johns Hopkins.
Family? Husband, eleven-month old son, and a middle-aged Jack Russell terrier!
Favorite local restaurant? Dixboro House
Favorite local cafe? Moonwinks
Favorite way to spend a day off? Hiking in Pinckney!
Favorite hidden gem of the Ann Arbor area? The B2B Trail
Best tip for fellow mompreneurs? Naps! “Since we are still in infant mode, I think I have been saved by my ability to nap when the baby does.”