Alicia Towns Franken is a Co-Founder of Towns Wine Co. and the Executive Director of Wine Unify.
Alicia discusses her upbringing in Chicago and her introduction to wine in college. She then segways into describing her role as the Head Sommelier at Grill 23 & Bar in Boston, Massachusetts during the 1990s and early 2000s. Alicia talks about the bigger themes of her career, including inclusion, mentorship, building community, being hospitable, building long term relationships, and being a woman supportive of other women. She also talks about the differences between the 1990s and now in the wine world.
Alicia details how the experiences in her life affected and shaped her work, and how she organized her life as a parent raising two children. She identifies the connecting thread of her mentorship in the wine world and the parenting in her personal life. She discusses what makes a good mentor, and what support and scaffolding can achieve for mentees. She further addresses the challenges and rewards of personal and work transitions. Alicia stresses the importance of education, as well as the need to welcome more people into the wine world.