Partner Spotlight: Üllo

June is Pride Month, where we elevate LGBTQ+ voices and keep fighting for equality. In honor of Pride Month, we wanted to take a moment to highlight one of our many LGBTQ+-owned gift partners, Üllo! 

Üllo is a Chicago-based company that believes wine is best enjoyed the way the winemaker intended– free from the sulfite preservatives added during production.

Üllo was founded by American chemist and inventor, James Kornaki, PhD, in 2015 and today serves wine lovers worldwide. Snappy features a variety of Üllo products across multiple budget ranges including wine purifiers, carafes, and decanters! 

We had a chance to speak to Dr. Kornacki, Chief Wine Revolutionary at Üllo, about his experience as a gay identifying founder. 

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On starting Üllo 

“I was finishing my doctorate and looking at ways organic chemistry could be applied to deliver something new and useful to the world. I remembered an instance as a child when my aunt turned away a glass of wine because of her sensitivity to sulfite preservatives. It turns out these  sensitivities are common; yet, 20 years later there was no solution other than wine altogether. I didn’t like that option. Since this was a problem of chemistry, I felt I had the tools to solve it.

I developed a sulfite-selective polymer that could pull these chemicals out from wine without disrupting the wine’s chemistry. Üllo is the first product to give you the option to remove sulfites when their job as a preservative is over – right when you open the bottle.”

On celebrating Pride

“It’s a recognition of progress and an expression of authenticity, two things I feel are directly related. All the rainbow flags and festivities are a symbol of a certain permission you’re granted, if you choose to accept it, to do and be what feels right. That’s progress.”

On being an LGBTQ+ Business Leader

“Üllo first operated out of a co-working space for new startups, so we were among dozens of new companies. I remember being surprised at how few gay founders there were. That was a sharp contrast to academia, where we’re a dime a dozen.”

Editor's Note:

 Check out Üllo in our Pride Summer Collection, in this month’s Rising Voices Collection which uplifts LGBTQ+ businesses, and our ​​US Business Collection. Don’t want to wait for your next Snappy gift? Check out their website here!

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