Local entrepreneur Leah Caplanis is a walking example of the phrase, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade,” or in this case, take an adult beverage and turn it into a business.
Caplanis is the Founder and CEO of SOCIAL Sparkling Wine
which offers a variety of products with more positive features comparable to many other adult beverages, such as fewer calories and USDA-certified organic.
Leah Caplanis is the owner of SOCIAL Sparkling Wine and Blue water Co-Packing.
When she was 26 years old, Caplanis was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Instead of having surgery, she says she decided to try holistic healing and experimented with several alternative therapies. Three years later, she was pronounced cancer-free.
It was shortly after that Caplanis began to formulate the plan for SOCIAL Sparkling Wine. She learned about the impact that nutrition has on our bodies, and while still wanting to participate in social activities, there were concerns about the effects of drinking alcohol.
“When I started to drink again I noticed there wasn't anything out there that was organic, lower in alcohol, but tasted like wine,” she says. “So before the big seltzer craze, I was working on the concept for SOCIAL, and began working to create something new from scratch.”
Established in 2014, Caplanis says the organic sparkling wine contains the cleanest alcohol.
“What makes it the cleanest is that it’s certified organic, with only 88 calories, gluten and sulfite-free, and it's also made from superfoods such as, organic hibiscus extract, and organic rose essence,” Caplanis says. “SOCIAL is also only 4% alcohol. Some of our flavors include Elderflower Apple, Strawberry Rose, Hibiscus Cucumber, and Grapefruit Ginger.”
Caplanis is also the owner of the production facility Blue Water Co-Packing for SOCIAL Sparkling Wine, which she decided to start up in her hometown of Port Huron.
“I had been working with co-packers around the country and I was having lots of quality issues,” she says. “I realized that we need to have our own facility to meet demand and grow. I then realized that my hometown was a great place to return to, so in December of 2020 we secured a building located on Connor Street, but we are still in the process of getting all the equipment needed to make it a full production facility from start to finish.”
SOCIAL Sparkling Wine is a nationally-distributed product that can be purchased online or at local vendors such as Wolverine Market
or Walsh’s Liquor Store
in Port Huron.