Full Name
Anthony Douglas
Job Title
Founder and CEO
The Urban Grape
Speaker Bio
TJ Douglas is the CEO and Founder of The Urban Grape, a ground-breaking wine store in the South End neighborhood of Boston. The store concept is simple, but revolutionary – Drink Progressively. The store’s proprietary Progressive Scale system sorts wine by its body, instead of by varietal or region, and brings ease and unexpected surprise to customers. As a result of its innovations and focus on the customer experience, The Urban Grape has become one of the most successful independently-owned wine stores in the country.

The Urban Grape has been named Boston’s Best Wine store from Boston magazine six times, received a Small Business of the Year Award from the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce in 2020, and was named the US Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year in 2021. Additionally, Beverage Dynamics named the store a Top 100 Wine Retail Store in America in 2019, 2020 and 2021. The store has been nationally profiled in Food & Wine magazine, The New York Times, NPR, and Wine Enthusiast, SevenFifty Daily, BOSS Magazine, and more.

As the wine buyer, head sales person, and architect of the Progressive Scale for The Urban Grape, TJ is directly responsible for the store’s successes. He has been profiled by the New York Times, Food & Wine, MarketWatch, Eater National, Boston magazine, Boston Common, The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, Boston Business Journal, The Improper Bostonian, Massachusetts Beverage Journal, and Terroirist, among other regional and national publications. TJ has been featured on Basic Black (WGBH), The Hub Today (NBC), Dining Playbook (NESN), New England Living (CBS), and Chronicle (WCVB). Thanks to TJ’s leadership, The Urban Grape was also called “Boston’s Revolutionary Wine Store” in a cover story for Beverage Dynamics. He has taught classes on drinking progressively at, among other places, the Boston Center for Adult Education, Boston University, and the Boston Wine Expo, and for companies such as First Republic Bank, Google, Wellington Financial, Converse, and the Boston Celtics. TJ is a seven-time returning Sommelier for the Nantucket Wine Festival. He’s the co-author of The Urban Grape’s best selling wine education book Drink Progressively, and the resident wine expert on the New England lifestyle show, “Home, Life, and Design.”

TJ and his wife Hadley are the founders of The Urban Grape Wine Studies Award for Students of Color, in partnership with Boston University. He is dedicated to increasing diversity in the wine industry through this program and by serving as a mentor to other people of color in the hospitality industry. TJ is an active member of his community, serving on the Board of Trustees of The Fessenden School and Summer Search Boston. Additionally, he serves on the Dean’s Advisory Board for the Met College at Boston University as well as the Executive Advisory Committee for the Museum of Science. He lives in Boston with his wife and business partner, Hadley, and their two sons, Noah and Jason.
Anthony Douglas