Meet Fat Cork
We strive to change the perception of Champagne as an exorbitant delicacy to an exciting option for celebrating everyday moments.
Hi, we’re Fat Cork! We are an importer, online retailer, and a small, underground (literally) warehouse in Seattle dedicated entirely to grower Champagne.
We’re the exclusive importer and retailer of excellent, undiscovered grower Champagne. In other words, we’re the only importer allowed to bring the very very best of the best (in our opinion) Champagne to the States. It’s “grower” Champagne because it comes straight from the families who grow the grapes. They own the land, tend the vines, and make the bubbly. Most have been at it for generations.
We sell the bubbles directly to YOU through our website and our Fantastic Champagne Club (FC Club). We pop up on select restaurant wine lists, too.
Celebrations are never required—opening a beautiful bubbly already feels like one. We'd love for you to join us on this journey as we Celebrate Everyday!
A Brief History of Fat Cork
In 2007 a serendipitous chain of events began. Enter Bryan Maletis: Portland native with a fancy for wine and the youngest Brand Manager in the history of Winebow. He was put in charge of the brand Champagne Laurent Perrier and though managing the New York and New Jersey region offered a promising career, Bryan eventually longed to return to the West Coast. The decision to move to Seattle would soon prove to be the most important step in Bryan’s life: it was the Emerald City that brought Bryan Maletis and Abigail Richardson together. Soon after the two started dating, Abby saw the entrepreneurial ambitions that fueled Bryan and convinced him to enroll in the University of Washington MBA program.
From the beginning of their relationship, Bryan and Abby have celebrated everyday with at least a nightly “Cheers.” Their love for wine eventually enticed them to travel to France. This trip doubled as their first vacation together and first time for both in Champagne.
This trip proved to be life changing in many ways. While visit- ing the headquarters of Champagne Laurent Perrier, the two were introduced to Bryan’s distant coworker Jean-Pierre Willemsen, the V.P. of Worldwide Sales for whom Bryan held immense respect. The three hit it off immediately over a bottle of Rosé as Bryan and Abby pointed out the young and enthusiastic market for Champagne that existed back in the United States.
Over a year later, Bryan received a surprising call from Jean-Pierre offering a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Jean-Pierre had left Laurent Perrier to act as the chief exporter for a multitude of grower Champagnes to Italy and was interested in expanding overseas. He proposed a partnership with Bryan acting as the exclusive U.S. importer. They both saw the value of working together and bringing a highly selective group of grower Champagnes direct-to-consumer to ensure quality control. Without hesitation, Bryan met Jean-Pierre in New York City to finalize the plans and Fat Cork was born.