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Aaliyah Nitoto, Free Range Flower Winery: Protecting the planet and giving back to her community by

Aaliyah Nitoto on the Companies That Care podcast

The Companies that Care podcast highlights companies and business leaders who are making a difference in the world, like Aaliyah Nitoto, the visionary founder of Free Range Flower Winery, an award-winning, winemaker-owned and -operated boutique winery in Oakland, California.

Aaliya handcrafts premium wine in small batches from locally sourced, organically grown flowers…not grapes. She has been hailed as an "innovative producer" (Wine Enthusiast) who is "revolutionizing the world of wine" (Kourtney Kardashian's POOSH).

Aaliyah updates ancient women's garden winemaking traditions for 21st century tastes.

As Phil Long, winemaker/founder of Longevity Wines and president of the Association of African American Vintners, recently told NBC TV News, Aaliyah is "defying odds at every turn. She is not only a young Black woman getting into the wine world, which is not as diverse as it should be, but she’s also making a new category that doesn’t exist in this industry.'"

Aaliyah Nitoto with one of her wines
Aaliyah with one of her wines

Free Range Flower Winery’s rare flower wines tend to sell out long before the next vintage is in the bottle. The winery’s mission is based on an organic, sustainable, local business model as well as creating a welcoming, inclusive space for everyone to enjoy its wine. Aaliyah deeply believes in innovation in winemaking and the power of magnifying diverse voices in the industry.

When she’s not making wine, Aaliyah is a health and nutrition educator for an advocacy and education nonprofit called Healthy Black Families.

Free Range Flower Winery is committed to using organic ingredients, sustainable business practices, and local vendors. They are dedicated to uplifting the community and donate a percentage of sales to nonprofits that share their values.

Next week on the Finding Fertile Ground podcast, I interview Julie Allen, who I interviewed for Companies That Care earlier this year. Julie and I do a deep dive on her experiences battling eating disorders for much of her life. Julie shares how she has now found her fertile ground by sharing her story, writing a book, and starting a sustainable, body-positive clothing boutique.

The Companies That Care podcast is brought to you by Fertile Ground Communications. I alternate the Companies That Care podcast with my original podcast, Finding Fertile Ground, which shares personal stories of grit and resilience. On both my podcasts I strive to highlight voices from historically excluded populations, people who don't always get a platform.

Marie Gettel-Gilmartin, founder and principal of Fertile Ground Communications LLC, is a writer and marketing communications consultant who loves to take the pain and stress out of writing for her clients. She specializes in making the complex clear, using dynamic, accessible language to explain and communicate important issues. She positions her clients as experts in their fields and helps them communicate about pressing issues. Writing communications that boost employee engagement and thought leadership, she also coaches leaders and executives on how to strengthen communications and leadership. She loves to connect people and resources or solve seemingly impossible problems.

As a podcaster for justice, I stand with my sisters from the Women of Color Podcasters Community. We are podcasters united to condemn the tragic murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and many others at the hands of police.

Fertile Ground Communications LLC is a certified women-owned business enterprise, disadvantaged business enterprise, and emerging small business.


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