The Coast News Group
Another day on the job for Cal State San Marcos student interns from left: Toni Gomez and Megan Bainbridge and California Fruit Wine co-owner Brian Haghighi. Students are collaborating with the winery to hold a Thanksgiving food drive Nov. 17.

Students pair with winery to hold Thanksgiving food drive

VISTA — Cal State San Marcos marketing students are collaborating with California Fruit Wine to hold a Thanksgiving food drive Nov. 17 that promises to become an annual event. 

The food drive will be a one-night event at California Fruit Wine that will also celebrate the remodeling and grand reopening of the urban winery.

Guests are asked to bring nonperishable food items and make monetary donations to the food drive for local families in need.

Marketing student Megan Bainbridge said the event is a way to motivate people to come out and give. She added that she hopes it draws students and community members.

“When it’s a food drive it’s hard to get people involved,” Bainbridge said. “They think someone else will do it. An event gets them involved because they want to hang out.”

The collaboration between the winery and university students began when Bainbridge landed an internship with the winery. During her first week on the job she listed community service as one of her goals.

Brainstorming between Bainbridge and company co-owner Brian Haghighi led to the idea of making the Thanksgiving food drive part of the winery reopening celebration.

Duties to organize the event and alert the public will chiefly be the responsibility of Cal State San Marcos students.

“They are spearheading the effort,” Haghighi said. “We are guiding them along the way.”

About 50 students are helping with the food drive. Most of them are members of the university’s Marketing Society club.

Bainbridge said the internship and food drive are great opportunities to gain real world experiences in marketing. She added that Haghighi has been helpful in guiding her and fellow students through the process of event planning and writing press releases.

Haghighi said the timing of the food drive is perfect and the idea complements the company culture of giving back to the community.

The winery has already developed a community partnership with North County Solutions for Change. Food and money collected at the Thanksgiving food drive will be donated to the nonprofit.

California Fruit Wine has been in business for three years.

Haghighi said one-fifth of the business effort is wine making. The majority of work involves business operations and marketing.

He added that marketing interns have been beneficial in running the business.

“It gives them insight into owning a business,” Haghighi said. “We are helping educate and train them and they are giving valuable input as a workforce in a small startup business.”

The Thanksgiving food drive will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. Nov. 17 at 1040 La Mirada Court. Wine Club members are invited to arrive at 3 p.m.