Starr Hill Vineyard & Winery

Starr Hill Vineyard & Winery logo placed on top of an background image with purple grapes
PennWest Clarion SBDC Client Success Story
Starr Hill Vineyard & Winery adapts to combat COVID-19

Starr Hill Vineyard & Winery was founded in 2005. It is a family owned business located in Curwensville, Pennsylvania. The winery offers a wide variety of handcrafted wines and fermented fruit beverages. Starr Hill Vineyard & Winery’s products can also be found at surrounding grocery stores including Walmart and Giant Eagle; as well as restaurants, Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores, convenience stores, and other places alcoholic beverages are sold. Starr Hill Vineyard & Winery has been in contact with the PennWest Clarion SBDC since their inception, but reached out at the beginning of the pandemic for assistance in multiple areas including: COVID-19 relief, Human Resources, and Marketing & Advertising.

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic many businesses adapted to create new products and new ways of operating. Starr Hill Vineyard & Winery was no exception with the launch of their new product: BUMBERSHOOT®. With the help of the PennWest Clarion SBDC, Starr Hill Vineyard & Winery was able to effectively market and advertise their new product, BUMBERSHOOT®, which was created during the pandemic. This new product allowed Starr Hill Vineyard & Winery to enter the new market of selling beverages to beer distributors. BUMBERSHOOT® is a handcrafted fermented fruit beverage available in four flavors: raspberry, apple, blackberry, and peach raspberry.

The PennWest Clarion SBDC also assisted Starr Hill Vineyard & Winery through a partnership with the PennWest University marketing department on their student led marketing projects. The students were tasked with creating a marketing plan for Starr Hill Vineyard & Winery with the help of the SBDC and any resources or services offered.

Furthermore, the PennWest Clarion SBDC aided Starr Hill Vineyard & Winery with updating their employee handbook and adapting it to include all COVID-19 safety precautions and protocols. The SBDC provided Starr Hill Vineyard & Winery with information about the COVID-19 CARES Act programs, including the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan. The SBDC assisted Starr Hill Vineyard & Winery with applying for this program and answered questions throughout the application process. Starr Hill Vineyard & Winery received funds from the first round of the Paycheck Protection Program for the amount of $70,000 and $82,000 from the second round PPP. With the assistance of the PennWest Clarion SBDC, Starr Hill Vineyard & Winery has been surviving the pandemic and has saved 3 full-time positions and 23 part-time positions.