From Passion to Success: SommEvents

From Passion to Success: SommEvents. Originally published in WBE Canada Magazine; Issue 12. Read our full magazine HERE.

Starting a business can be a stressful yet essential step for entrepreneurs who want to turn their dreams into reality. Since the age of 17, Marte Belisle has been passionate about wine. She fell in love with wine after a trip to Bordeaux, the magnificent French wine city and region, where her eyes were opened to the unique flavours, grape varietals, and the joy of sharing moments over a glass of wine.

During her spare time, Marte travelled the world, meeting people, learning what makes each wine region unique, developing her skills and dreaming of turning her passion into a business. In 201, following years spent in various careers including interior design and as sales manager for commercial fabric companies, Marte took the chance and started turning her dream into reality. In 2020 she launched SommEvents as a full-time business.

Early on, Marte recognized that diversification was essential for staying ahead of the competition. She developed a program that catered to both corporations and consumers, cultivating relationships with both clienteles through the principles of trust and transparency. For the corporate facet of the business, SommEvents created wine experiences for team building, client retention and offering branded wine gifts. Consumer events are more intimate, curated events with wine and food pairings, providing a more interactive and fun experience.

Marte has some concrete advice for those who want to create a business and succeed. Her greatest strength, which has brought her to where she is today, is her ability to sell a product and easily talk with everyone. Meeting clients and suppliers is something you have to inherently enjoy. One of her longest learning curves? Learning to delegate. The biggest challenge? Establishing the company and making it known in the marketplace. And that requires a substantial marketing budget which can be overwhelming and complex, but with motivation and creative ideas, goals can be achieved. Stress? It’s always present but it’s crucial to separate work from your personal life to avoid losing oneself in the business. And of course, a glass of wine helps!

Marte’s key advice to anyone looking to start a business is to develop plans—lots of plans. Plan your budget then be prepared to triple it. It always costs more than you anticipate. After you have covered all the details, leave yourself open to adapting as your market will drive the changes.

“Having support from groups of women who uplift and help each other’s businesses grow has been immensely helpful. Being surrounded by a supportive community like WBE Canada’s Supplier Advisory Committee, being involved and taking advantage of all that WBE Canada offers to women entrepreneurs, has allowed me to progress and feel well-supported. Today, I have future projects that I hope will one day materialize: growing my company into a franchise and establishing it worldwide.” Marte Belise, Founder & President, SommEvents.

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Marte Belisle

Marte BelisleFollowing her passion for travel and wine, Marte has spent the last 3 decades studying wines around the world. Along the way she has also gone back to school to be formally trained.

SommEvents is not Marte’s first business but certainly the one she is most passionate about. Coordinating events, selecting wines and food pairing, creating new ways of presenting wine and sharing her knowledge with clients never feels
like work for her. Niagara is the region she has come to know in depth over the last 20 years and although she makes her base there, no wine region is foreign to her.

Using all of her knowledge, Marte helps companies with client retention strategies using wine.

Life is a collection of moments….gather as many of the good ones as you can

For additional information please visit her website at