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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."

Cranston's Alex and Ani Buys Sakonnet Vineyards

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.

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