A (virtual) Taste of Family Business

The Smith Family Business Initiative is proud to offer our (virtual) Taste of Family Business series.  Join us monthly as we host a real-time experience with a family business and their product, be it wine, beverage, or food. These events offer special access to each family business, their story, and product.

Registration is limited to ensure that all attendees have an opportunity to engage with each other as well as the featured family business. Upon registration, participants will receive instructions on how to purchase the special wine or food selection for each event. While registration for this (virtual) Taste of Family Business is complimentary, a suggested contribution of $100 will support the Smith Family Business Student Excellence Fund. This fund will provide essential and broad support for family business education and related activities targeted to students, including but not limited to; experiential learning, mentoring, case competitions, conferences and other outreach activities promoting thought leadership, best practices and peer networking for this current generation of family business leaders.

2022 Schedule

More information to come soon!

2021 Schedule


J.R. Dill Winery

J.R. Dill will be featuring three wines (Dry Reisling, Cayuga White Rise (sparkling), and a Cabernet Blend) for $45 plus shipping and tax. They are bundled together and can be purchased through this link.

You can also purchase these wines locally at Northside Wine & Spirits.

2020 Schedule

REGISTER July 30, 2020

Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery

Dr. Konstantin Frank ignited the “Vinifera Revolution”, a movement that forever changed the course of wine growing in the Finger Lakes and the United States. Dr. Frank’s vision, knowledge and determination are credited with elevating the New York wine industry from a state of happy mediocrity to a level that today commands world attention. Now in its fourth generation of family leadership, Meaghan Frank ’11, MPS ’16, serves as the Vice President leading the winery through these challenging times.

REGISTER August 27, 2020

Trestle Thirty One Winery

Nova Cadamatre is the first female winemaker in the US to achieve the title of Master of Wine and one of only two American winemakers to do so. In 2014, Cadamatre was named to Wine Enthusiast’s Top 40 under 40 list and has numerous 90+ scoring wines to her credit from both California and New York. Trestle 31 Wine was founded in 2018 by Nova and her husband Brian Cadamatre. The name Trestle Thirty One comes from the large railroad trestle that is prominent from the top of the vineyard on Seneca Lake.

REGISTER September 24, 2020

L'uva Bella Winery

In 1953, Marisa’s grandparents immigrated from Italy with a suitcase and a dream. Bringing the tradition of winemaking with them, they launched L’uva Bella Winery, which Marisa and her partner Evan Schulman recently purchased. Marisa is no ordinary successor in her family’s business, however. While at Cornell, Marisa created and launched her own brand, RedHead Wine, which remains a part of the L’uva Bella Brand. Marisa is not only passionate about wine, but also the entrepreneurial spirit. Over the past few years, Marisa has spoken to over 50,000 aspiring entrepreneurs and continues to mentor students as an Entrepreneur in Residence at Cornell.


Junior's Cheesecake

Alan is the third generation of the Rosen family to lead the venerable New York City brand.  Founded by Harry Rosen in 1950, Junior’s has been famous for great food, great fun, great service, and, of course, the best cheesecake. The original location in Brooklyn on Flatbush Avenue is still thriving. The current pandemic has caused major changes in how Junior’s operates, and Alan will share the family business story and challenges up until now and many still to come. Participants are invited to sample some of “the world’s most fabulous cheesecake” together with Alan and fellow conference attendees by ordering direct from Junior’s Cheesecake prior to the tasting.


Speach Family Candy Shoppe

The Speach Family Candy Shoppe has been around since 1920. Still family owned and operated 4 generations later, The Speach Family Candy Shoppe is proud to call Syracuse, NY home.

Originally founded by Michael Speach (Michele Spicciati) an immigrant from Italy, The Speach Family Candy Shoppe has been passed down through the generations to Michael’s great-grandson who also happens to be named Michael. With the help of family and friends, The Speach Family Candy Shoppe has grown and developed new products and gorgeous packaging the customers have come to expect and appreciate.

The business now operates as The Speach Family Candy Shoppe, Inc., paying homage to the members of the family that have passed and stands as a monument of how a struggling man from Italy came to America and made something wonderful.


Johnson Estate Winery and Johnson and Jurgielewicz & Son, Ltd.

The history of Johnson Estate begins with an English orphan named Frederick Johnson. He immigrated to Canada as a teenager and found his way to Cornell at the turn of the century to study entomology. In 1908, Johnson purchased a circa-1822 home and farm along the banks of Freelings Creek in Westfield, N.Y.  The Johnson Estate endures today as New York’s oldest estate winery, with the third generation, Frederick, Jr. ’75, MBA ’77 and Jennifer Johnson MBA ‘79 as owners and operators.

Four generations of Jurgielewicz family duck farming began in 1933 when Bronislaw and Katarzyna Jurgielewicz, emigrated to America from Poland via Ellis Island. The young, ambitious couple initially settled in Brooklyn but, driven by their entrepreneurial spirit, soon moved east to rural Long Island. The fledgling Jurgielewicz Duck Farm was hatched, and quickly became a top producer of Pekin ducks for the famous Long Island Duck Co-op, and remains one of the leading Pekin duck suppliers in North America.

Previous Years’ Attendees