CRU9, a playful twist on the French wine term ‘cru’, was founded by the passionate, high-energy and philanthropic Faythe Stone-Brocka, the youngest of nine siblings (hence, the “9”) from Lawler, Iowa. Faythe’s passion for serving people and being an advocate for their success laid the foundation for the CRU9 brand.
A University of Northern Iowa “Panther” who graduated with a degree in Accounting, Faythe quickly discovered that she was ultimately meant for a different path, and went back to school to study horticulture and landscaping. After starting her own landscape contracting firm and tree farm, having three children with her husband Mike and diving into the wine business through the retail and distribution side, Faythe launched CRU9.
Her wine is not only about the feeling it invokes, conjuring a place, a song, a memory, a story. The CRU9 brand is an advocate for positive change. With proceeds from the sale of every wine, the winery supports causes that are close to Faythe’s heart – House of Hope in Waterloo Iowa and Ruby’s Place in Hayward California – two organizations that help level the playing field for survivors of human trafficking, domestic abuse and homelessness.
“I truly enjoy a bottle of wine that indulges all of my senses and is a representative for positive change. My motivation to create CRU9 emanated from generations of my family; I come from a long line of entrepreneurs. And perhaps it’s in my blood. Grandpa Charles made his own hooch out of Cole’s Auto Garage in Lawler, Iowa, during prohibition; I’ve had that same itch to make my own brand… wine style of course. That’s a great story to be shared over a bottle of wine someday. I have owned and managed my own businesses since I was 27. Each of those businesses and all those lessons turned into a fine blend for the creation of CRU9.” -Faythe