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Cranston's Alex and Ani Buys Sakonnet Vineyards

Alex and Ani is fulfilling CEO Giovanni Feroce's promises earlier this year that "big things are coming" for the company, which started as a jewelry maker and now bills itself as a "lifestyle, eco-friendly brand."

The company whose charms and bracelets have developed an eager following around the world in just a few short years, , is branching out.

Or maybe it should be said the Cranston-based jewelery and lifestyle brand is spreading vines. 

The company announced yesterday that it has purchased Sakonnet Vineyards in Little Compton.

"All of us at Alex and Ani are excited about taking Sakonnet Vineyards to the next level of achievement," company CEO Giovanni Feroce said in a press release announcing the purchase. "This will amount to a major re-investment in our local Rhode Island economy and community."

Sakonnet Vineyards is a 170-acre property with 50 acres of several varieties of grape. It also includes a 5-lot subdivision and a residential building.

"I can't help but be struck by the many parallels between our business and Sakonnet Vineyards," said Designer Carolyn Rafaelian, Alex and Ani's founding owner and president. "Both our companies were born of the desire to redefine their industries and re-invigorate our shared local and regional economies. We are, symbolically and literally, of the earth, we grow organically, and we're identified with good taste. We make a perfect pairing."

The purchase price was $8.5 million.

The winery purchase is on the heels of Alex and Ani's expansion into the coffee bar business. The wine will be sold in the company's new Teas and Javas coffee bars. Last week the first Teas and Javas opened Wayland Square in Providence.

The company also announced that it bought a building on Weybosset Street in Providence and it is opening a professional development center.

It will be called Alex and Ani University and it will offer courses in leadership development. According to the Providence Business News, course names include "Attitude and Emotional Intelligence," "Self-Identity and Meaning-Making in the Workplace" and "Rethinking Retail."

The price of the 159 Weybosset St. building was $3.3 million and the university will occupy three floors. The first two floors will be home to a new Alex and Ani retail location and a Teas and Javas.

PC July 20, 2012 at 02:09 PM
Pretentious employees and GARBAGE products.
Joe Richer July 20, 2012 at 04:54 PM
Seems to me like A&A are being good free market entrpeneurs. They are taking their profits and sinking them back into their business and into their home state. They are making short, medium, and long term investments. From the outside looking in their strategy looks daring...but RI should appreciate their willingness to take a risk in this climate. Kusos Ms. Feroce!
Joe Richer July 20, 2012 at 04:55 PM
Sorry - that should be Kudos!
deb of see-attleboro July 20, 2012 at 09:06 PM
I don't know much about the products. IMO, I think their commercials are creepy. Effective, I guess. But creepy, nonetheless. I guess the A&A University will be based on the same New Age nonsense.
Joe The Plumber July 21, 2012 at 12:46 AM
I don't get it. This is one of the only manufacturers actually thriving and employing people in Rhode Island, and drawing favorable recognition across the country with the Olympics and Disney. It should be viewed as the blueprint for success, a model for all other busineses to follow.... and the idiots on this blog are criticizing it. (even those who admit to knowing nothing about the products). This is Rhode Island. The State of LOSERS. If anyone is succeeding here in our idiotic state.... LET's KICK EM OUT!!! I do not believe this place.
deb of see-attleboro July 21, 2012 at 03:27 PM
Chill out, Joe. Have a cup of chai. Want to borrow my copy of Eat, Pray, Love"?:)
Joe The Plumber July 22, 2012 at 03:54 AM
Your response explains everything...
deb of see-attleboro July 22, 2012 at 02:08 PM
You're welcome!!!
Joe The Plumber July 22, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Umm ... Ok... Right....
Joe The Plumber July 22, 2012 at 06:35 PM
The views expressed here are a perfect example of why CNBC's study ranked Rhode Island as the worst state in the country to to business in.
Tomas July 23, 2012 at 03:34 AM
Unfortunately, Alex and Ani should spend more money on their employees and less on a " university". Their benefit package for management is pathetic. They barely pay for health benefits. But they can afford a driver for their CEO.
Joe Richer July 23, 2012 at 02:04 PM
I'm sure the driver appreciates his job. I'm not saying what you are saying is wrong...but my health benefits are a matter of negotiation between my employer and me. I ask for, and get, compensation that is commensurate to the value I provide. If a manager feels he/she deserves better compensation...what's stopping them from asking for it? Gotta love free markets.
deb of see-attleboro July 23, 2012 at 04:38 PM
I wouldn't be at all surprised, Tomas Should we expect anything more from a company whose mission statement seems to boil down to self-idolatry? So slap on a couple of those bangles and smile!!
Mandy Hearst August 08, 2012 at 05:26 AM
Saw this article via Twitter and as a New Yorker, Alex and Ani's reputation as a brand continues to gain attention in a positive sense. As far as their investments and resource allocation, I'm certain if any commenter here could replicate the model and the rate of growth, they would. Seems like a competitor is paying people to posts petty and negative comments which only reaffirms the success and growth. Can't wait to see it continue.
Fact Finder November 14, 2012 at 09:33 PM
But here in lies the kicker - they property has NOT sold as of 11/14/12. Do some research please.


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