For three weeks, Dusted Valley Winery set aside $50 for every case of its Boomtown label sold, raising $7,000 to support the nonprofits combating food insecurity in Walla Walla, Woodinville and Edmonds, the communities where the company operates.
Those funds will be donated to the Edmonds Food Bank, the Storehouse Food Bank and the Blue Mountain Action Council, a Walla Walla Valley nonprofit that provides social services to low-income residents and operates the BMAC Food Bank.
Between April 15 and May 8, the “Pour it Forward” program collected more than 25% of the proceeds from the sale of the $192 cases of wine, each with a dozen bottles of Dusted Valley’s “little brother” label.
Typically retailing for under $20 a bottle, Boomtown is the brand’s more broadly distributed product, said winegrower and co-owner Corey Braunel. The cases are sold through Dusted Valley’s website and its tasting rooms in Walla Walla, Woodinville and Edmonds.
The program was born March 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic first began to come to the fore, raising $20,000 for various nonprofits in its first two years.
Dusted Valley decided to donate part of its proceeds to BMAC due to that organization’s work to fight food insecurity, in keeping with the winery’s charitable giving to organizations providing health and human services, Braunel said.
“When the pandemic hit, we really wanted to help our restaurant friends who would be forced to close due to the pandemic,” Braunel said. “And what came out of that was the identification of the need, of food insecurity in the Valley.
“From there, we’ve been able to expand it to the other communities in which we serve in Washington.”
He and Chad Johnson, also winemaker and co-owner, also knew some of the members of BMAC’s leadership team, Braunel said, making it easy to decide to work with them.
Native to Wisconsin, the Johnson and Braunel families moved to the Walla Walla Valley in 2003, Johnson said.
Fast forward nearly 20 years, and the two families were selling more than 20,000 cases of their Boomtown label per year before the COVID-19 pandemic began, and they sell just under 6,000 cases of their Dusted Valley label today.
Alongside winemakers Corey Braunel and Chad Johnson, the business is also owned by national salesperson and co-owner Janet Johnson and Cindy Braunel, co-owner, administrator, and manager of the Stained Tooth Society wine club.
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