Selena S. Cuffe, Co-Founder, Heritage Link Brands
What did you study at Harvard?
I received my Master of Business Administration from the business school.
Were you involved with any food or wine activities while a student?
Although I wasn’t involved in formal food or wine activities while a student, I did have the pleasure of enjoying numerous dinner parties with classmates and returning to HBS as a partner to Khary Cuffe (my husband and co-founder is HBS ‘06/HKS ’07), during which time we collaborated with the HBS Wine & Cuisine Society to conduct pre-launch qualitative research on our products.
Do you think that Harvard has prepared you for a career in food and wine or hospitality in general? If so, how?
Yes. In addition to meeting my co-founder/husband at school, HBS did a great job reinforcing the importance of emotional intelligence, organizational behavior, and service leadership.
What work do you do now?
I’m co-founder of Heritage Link Brands and owner of Silkbush Mountain Vineyards. When I learned that South Africa’s $3 billion wine industry had less than 2% black ownership (despite blacks representing 80% of the country’s population), Khary and I began importing, marketing, and distributing South African wine. Today our company is the largest importer and marketer of black-produced wine from Africa and its Diaspora, serving four countries, 40+ states, and 3,500 establishments, ranging from Marriott to Whole Foods Market.
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