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Taylor Foppiano: “Success is Family, Friends and Loving What You Do!”

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Taylor and Henry Foppiano have a love story for the ages. The couple truly represents all that is good in our community, giving back through their connections and efforts. 

“I think success is everyday happiness,” Taylor replied when asked to describe what the concept means to her. “What is the point of working hard if you’re not enjoying your life? I think at the end of my life, if I had a room full of all family and friends by my side, that would be success.”

Lodi Roots
Her business, Sip Shuttle, is a product of her passion. A local girl, Taylor grew up in Lodi with her three siblings. Her parents divorced but made sure the children received the benefit of successful co-parenting. She attended St. Anne’s Catholic School, as her mom and siblings did, and she credits her background of family, church and school for instilling in her the foundation of giving to those around you and enjoying time with the ones you love. 

She graduated from Tokay High School, where she played volleyball and basketball, which she played since she was five years old. She went on to study for her AA at San Joaquin Delta Community College, then transferred to Sacramento State for study in hospitality and hotel management; her goal was to plan events for hotels and local wineries. 

“I graduated in 2015. My graduation project at Sacramento State was my business plan for Sip Shuttle,” she smiled. “I graduated in May and launched my business in August 2015! I was working in Van Ruiten Family Winery’s tasting room while going to school, and I noticed a need for a wine tour business in the Lodi area.”

Finding Bliss
Fate stepped in and she met the love of her life, Henry, through their mutual friends, Annie Zunino and John Precissi. Henry had noticed her working at a wine event, the Spring Wine Show, and he admitted that he “fell in love!” Their courtship began when he came to see her at Van Ruiten Family Winery. “Our roots in the community, similar upbringing and focus on family brought us together,” she reflected.

The two recently married in a storybook ceremony planned by Taylor and Annie, of AZ Floral Design. Annie, who was on the cover of HERLIFE Magazine in July 2017, is the friend who introduced these two lovebirds. “I have helped her with concept photo shoots for HERLIFE, and we have so much fun talking about events and details that of course she was the only person I thought of to help with my wedding,” Taylor enamored. “We had a great time doing it together; she even let me go to the San Francisco flower market with her to pick out the flowers for our wedding. She is amazing with event design and I am good at the coordinating side, so we make a great team. We decided, moving forward, to collaborate on events for her clients if they needed full service.” 

Taylor has also been growing her new business, the Lodi Wine Tour Sip Shuttle service, and she has formed partnerships with wineries, restaurants and other local businesses. Her knowledge of the area and wineries makes her the perfect tour guide. There are 85 wineries in Lodi and wine tourism is increasing; through Sip Shuttle, Taylor and her guides give guests a unique insight when they go on tours together.

Her husband, Henry, has deep regional connections. Entrenched in the local agricultural community, he is proud of his family’s heritage in Stockton. As a fourth-generation family farmer with Morada Produce, his roots in the Waterloo area of east Stockton date back to the Gold Rush, and he takes pride in carrying on his family’s tradition of sustainable production of cherries, walnuts and other crops. He feels privileged to work with his father, Skip, every day, and when they are not attending to the orchards, they enjoy hunting waterfowl and playing bocce with friends and relatives.

Lasting Style
Their wedding theme was based on Yves Saint Laurent’s quote, “Fashions fade; style is eternal.” Taylor has always been into event planning and design, and she wanted their wedding to be timeless so she could look back and cherish everything about it for years to come. This called for the classic black-tie garden party atmosphere, in which guests would feel they were in Palm Springs with ferns, champagne and an oyster bar. They put a twist on the stuffy, traditional black-tie wedding and made theirs a cocktail reception, with interactive stations, three open bars, meat carving station and seafood station. “Late night, we had a cigar roller in the cigar lounge, a taco bar and a milk-and-cookie station,” she remarked. “I baked all the cookies because chocolate chip cookies are Henry’s favorite.” 

In addition to the stations, they wanted the food to be passed, and added butler-passed hors d’oeuvres so that guests could mingle and have a great time. They also branded their wedding by having their custom crest on everything. When guests received their invitation, it was black-and-white letterpress with this crest; once they arrived at the ceremony, guests received programs and embroidered handkerchiefs with the crest. At the reception, pillows, napkins, match boxes, milk bottles, cookie bags and the flower girl banner all had their monogram.  

“We had a valet service for our guests and a red-carpet step and repeat with our monogram on it as our photo booth as guests entered. We really wanted everyone to feel special and have a great time,” she continued. “We had a band during the cocktail hour, with drinks served in etched-glass barware, and then guests followed the saxophone player, who was playing ‘Tailor Made’ by Colbie Caillat, into the pool area, where we had a DJ. The main food stations were open and we had a fireworks show.” This was a nod to the tradition the couple has begun. Each year, they hold a Christmas party and fireworks show. Two Christmases ago, they shot off fireworks when they got engaged.   

Family and Community
Beyond her business interests, Taylor enjoys reading, cooking, gardening, traveling and kayaking on the local waterways. She likes going out on brief road trips around the local area, an hour in any direction, to San Francisco, Murphys and Foothills. “Henry and I go on drives most Sundays. Inspiration comes from my mom and my husband. My mother, Carol, has inspired me; she has a great career and family, which is what I hope to have someday. My husband always thinks I can do anything; he is a great driving force and just keeps me pushing forward. His answer to most business ideas I have is, ‘Just try it and see how it goes,’” she reflected.

This driven young entrepreneur believes in giving back to her community; she is a new committee member on the Visit Lodi Board, which she feels is an honor. She was also awarded Lodi Tourism Advocate of the Year last year for Sip Shuttle. She firmly believes that since she has a platform in the community, it is important to use it to give back. She and her team have jumped in to raise goods for relief during the California wildfires, and they also do a toy drive every Christmas.     

What advice does Taylor have for women desiring to follow their dreams? “It is important to do what you’re passionate about. I had a few prior jobs; one was being behind a computer in an office, which I quickly realized was not for me. We spend so much of our lives working that it really brings your quality of life down if you’re not doing something that interests you. I also was very scared starting Sip Shuttle, but I did a lot of research and met with not only the wineries and tourism hub in Lodi but also entrepreneurs that have successful businesses in the area. I think it helps talking to people, even if they’re not related to the industry you’re in, to grow and open your mind to
different perspectives.

“I know I have been blessed to be able to do something that interests me, and I am grateful for that.”

Visit sipshuttle.com for more information.