2016 - Jennifer McDonald founded Jenny Dawn Cellars
Jenny Dawn Cellars was started by Jennifer McDonald and her family in 2016. In only a few short years, it has quickly grown from a concept that was being nurtured into Wichita’s first urban winery business. The Union Station south end, which opened its doors in November of last year, has a tasting room, an event space, and on-site wine production. While a graduate student at Kansas State University, McDonald discovered that there was a need for consumers to have access to fine wine in a winery setting in the heart of Wichita. Historically, wineries have been situated in inaccessible locations that are difficult for city inhabitants to reach.
She chose the recently refurbished Union Station in the heart of Wichita because she wanted to make and promote wine close to this untapped consumer base. The first black winemaker and winery owner in Kansas did not have a simple time traveling along the yellow brick road. Due of license and regulation, McDonald encountered tremendous pushback to her business model.