By Carrie Dietz
A wine and beer shop, located in the Kentlands in Gaithersburg, MD offers a variety of selections of wine and beer for both take away and on-site consumption. Wine tastings and live music are offered regularly. Operated by Pinky Rodgers along with her husband, the business has been thriving since its grand opening in 2012.
The store, which offers sit down service as well as carry out options and live music three nights a week, welcomes a host of regular visitors who stop by for a glass of wine or a beer and are encouraged to bring in take-out food from any Kentlands-based restaurant has become sort of the “Cheers” of the community. The expertise of the staff offers guidance for customers looking for budget wines and beers to high-end wine selections and hand-crafted beers.
Shortly after opening their wine and beer shop, Pinky and Pepe’s son, Matthew, a Marine Corp member, was deployed. Pinky and Pepe wanted to support their son in his effort to serve our country, so Pinky began a partnership with “Toys for Tots”, the annual holiday toy drive orchestrated by the Marine Corp.
This partnership led to more outreach to the community. The shop now hosts a minimum of five fundraising events a year and teams up with other local businesses to give back to the community on a regular basis. Pinky feels supporting other small businesses is an important way to make a positive impact. “I love how we have been so embraced by the community and have felt so supported, she said.”
It was always a dream of Pinky and Pepe’s to open a small business in the community they adore. With opening of Pinky and Pepe’s Grape Escape, they achieved the dream of becoming successful small business owners, but have also created a hub for area residents to connect and have become a vital community partner.
When hosting a toy drive with “Toys for Tots”, they also increase brand loyalty and increases the likelihood of customer visits during a busy season. By hosting fundraising events and teaming up with local community groups and businesses, Pinky Pepe’s increases brand recognition and new customer acquisition while establishing a vital hub of philanthropic and community activity.