Matthew and Jon’ll Boyd founded the only Black family-owned winery in Maryland, Boyd Cru Wines. Jon’ll revealed that they started the winery to respect and carry on their family’s tradition and to create a community with their two sons in an interview with Canvas Rebel.
The entrepreneur added that they both grew up in homes that valued service and making a difference in the community. Matthew’s grandparents were pioneers in their own right. His grandfather owned several acres of property while Jon’ll’s grandmother was the owner of one of the first and largest chains and salons for women of color.
She highlighted that they made the decision to take on the wine sector after realizing there was an absence of representation in it. “As the old saying goes, ‘representation matters,’ and although when considering entering the wine industry and starting our own winery, we noticed there was a lack of diversity, it was the innovation and history of what our ancestors were able to accomplish and what they stood for that gave us the faith and the courage to move forward and launch our wine company just this April 2023.”
To break into the about $1 million winery company, excluding land, equipment, and vine planting, the pair used money from their own savings and 401k and then swiftly started looking into possibilities of securing seed money through pitch contests, grants, and venture capital.
“We started off by self-funding the business. Receiving a number of these opportunities is what ultimately bridged the gap for us between pre-startup phase to start-up up. Thus far we’ve been awarded a total of $36,000 and are continuing to apply towards additional programs to help get over the start-up hump and plan for doubling production in our 2nd and 3rd year as a company,” Jon’ll revealed.
The drive to launch the winery was sparked during the pandemic following the unexpected and premature deaths of her spouse’s mother and her nephew. The couple decided to “really follow our dreams as a family and build community and connection that became so sorely missed during the pandemic” as a result, according to Jon’ll.
Decanter reports that out of more than 11,000 wineries in the U.S., only about 1% have a black winemaker or are black-owned. Since starting their business, the Boyds have continued to work hard to maintain standards that will help and improve the community.
“We offer a full range of fun yet inspiring experiences paired with our wines, such as a self-care and workout experience, Women That Work and Wine, which was launched in 2021, which allows women to embrace self-care while exploring wine. We will also be offering future experiences such as Wisdom, Words, and Wine, which is a book author expo where authors will share about their latest book release and each book will be paired with a wine that reflects the mood and expression of their book and our Legacy Boyd Cru Wine Club is on the horizon, which offers our members special incentives and exclusive invitations,” she expressed.