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Maryland Grow & Fortify

Maryland's Grow & Fortify

Maryland's Grow & Fortify's paper-based trail program will evolve into a digital passport to connect with locals and tourists.

The laws have evolved briskly in Maryland just as customer interests have evolved, and this will be a great tool for us to invite guests for a flight of beer or wine, or a freshly mixed cocktail.”
— Jim Bauckman

BOCA RATON, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES, December 17, 2020 / -- Maryland’s residents and visitors will soon be able to explore the state’s growing number of craft breweries, wineries, and distilleries right from their phones, thanks to a powerful new mobile app being developed for Grow and Fortify, a firm representing Maryland’s value-added agricultural producers, startups, and growers. The app will be built by Boca Raton, FLA-based software developers Daruma Tech.

With the app, users will be able to map their own tours of Maryland’s wineries, distilleries, or breweries, learn about their offerings, and earn points and rewards from checking in on the app at participating businesses. They will also be able to learn the latest news about Maryland’s craft beverage industry and find the craft beverage producers nearest to them.

The app was a natural evolution of Grow and Fortify’s successful paper-based trail program. “For the past five years, Grow and Fortify has been producing a printed map that was given out at visitor centers throughout the state,” explained Jim Bauckman, Grow and Fortify’s communications director. “Our maps included all member wineries, distilleries, and breweries that hosted guests, but we ran out of space when we hit 200 listings,” said Bauckman. With a smartphone in the pocket of most fans, the firm questioned expending resources annually for something that’s out of date the minute it’s printed.

The need to provide current information and build public awareness of the state’s craft beverage offerings in real time has also become more critical in light of the fast-changing nature of the industry, Bauckman said. “The laws have evolved briskly in Maryland just as customer interests have evolved, and this will be a great tool for us to invite guests for a flight of beer or wine, or a freshly mixed cocktail.”

In addition, Bauckman said, the app will support both businesses and consumers navigating the challenges of COVID-19. “It gives us the flexibility and freedom to showcase our members and highlight those that have the capacity to conduct business safely during this weird time,” he said. “We have lots of open space and outdoor experiences for consumers to make safe visits to their favorite manufacturers throughout the state.”

Daruma Tech’s expertise and strong reputation creating apps for the craft beverage and hospitality industries made them a natural choice to build Grow and Fortify’s app, Bauckman said. “Daruma Tech came highly recommended to build a truly impactful experience for the consumer and the included businesses.”

Bauckman added that Daruma Tech’s track record of success in supporting its clients’ marketing efforts was another major selling point. “We need to know there’s someone behind this app with the motivation to get people to use it,” he said. “I'm expecting that we'll get very good guidance about how we can position this app to our consumers and encourage them to download it, and they have a toolkit that has been built on the feedback that they've earned from all their other projects—that’s going to help us.”

The team at Daruma Tech is ready and eager to help Grow and Fortify connect Maryland’s craft beverage producers and consumers. “We have a lot of experience in this space and have spent a lot of time listening to different craft beverage associations and customers about what works and what doesn’t,” said Rick Griswold of Daruma Tech. “And we’re looking forward to sharing this knowledge with Grow and Fortify and all of Maryland’s member producers.”

For more information, contact Rick Griswold: 561-990-1625.

Rick Griswold
Daruma Tech
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