For Bed-Stuy resident and champagne guru Marvina Robinson, the sound of a popping cork never gets old.
“For me, even to this day, there’s something about that pop sound that brings you that warm, tingly feeling,” Robinson said.
The champagne love affair started when she was just a college student and was able to enjoy the beverage with her other just-legal friends.
“We were broke,” she said, laughing. “We’d pool our money, open up a bottle, drink it out of plastic cups. And for me it was just fun!”
Fast forward to today, and Robinson has her own successful champagne brand, Stuyvesant Champagne, named after the neighborhood she grew up in and continues to work from — Beddford-Stuyvesant.
Launched in February this year, Stuyvesant Champagne has two signature cuvées, the brut rosé and the grand resérve. And starting the week after next, Robinson is adding champagne popsicles to the menu.
She said she wanted to provide something for everyone, and her champagne popsicles, Vina Pops, would be the first of their kind on the market. In March, Robinson reached out to gourmet alcohol-infused popsicle manufacturer FrutaPOP and got straight into the creative process with them, “when other companies said no they said yes,” she said.
After months of testing, the first two flavors have just been finalized ahead of their launch in the coming weeks. They are sparkling guava frosé and champagne spritzer.
“They’re both delicious and absolutely refreshing,” Robison said. “I actually have two of the last samples in my freezer that I’m saving for later.”
Robinson will be releasing the popsicles at Bed-Stuy bottle store Happy Cork.
Robinson originally started Stuyvesant Champagne because she was opening a champagne bar and wanted to be unique in having her own house brand. As an avid champagne lover, she wants to bring uncommon champagne to the table and educate people about the beverage.
Through COVID-19, she said she has experienced delays with shipments from France, a country she has traveled to multiple times to get her champagnes just right, but things were finally getting back to normal.
In August, Stuyvesant Champagnes wines will be on shelves at bottle stores across a number of states, and Vina Pops popsicles will be there right beside them. Robinson said this was only the first stage of the popsicles. She has plans to extend their shelf life and get them into major retailers, such as Target and Walmart.
“We’d pool our money, open up a bottle, drink it out of plastic cups. And for me it was just fun!”
On top of the popsicles and champagne, Robinson has her own line of glassware coming out this year and is still planning on opening the champagne bar, albeit with some changes to the original plans.
“I’ve realized people are not as in tune with champagne as they’d like to be, so I’m going to do more of a tasting room with classes about champagne so we really know what we’re drinking and the process of how it’s made,” she said.
“It will still be a champagne room, but also a tasting and educational room as well.”