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Pappy & Company blends style and story for success on BigCommerce

Renowned family bourbon brand builds on their business
with a lifestyle-focused online store

183% $4,162 500%
YoY increase in sales Avg. revenue per email sent Increase in newsletter signups
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Business goal

A new product pairing for bourbon drinkers

In the world of bourbon, no label is more highly coveted than Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve. The flagship bourbon of the Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery Company is considered one of the finest in the world. It’s also produced in extremely limited quantities, which further contributes to its legend as a nearly unattainable luxury beverage.

To build on this heritage, triplet sisters and fourth-generation Van Winkle descendants Carrie, Chenault and Louise set out to create the online store Pappy & Company. Their vision was to offer bourbon fans the kind of quality, high-end products that made their family name legendary. “We wanted to create great products for bourbon drinkers and uphold our family tradition,” said Carrie Van Winkle Greener, founder of Pappy & Company. “We knew if we could do that well, the money would come later.”

They launched a store on BigCommerce, but soon recognized the need for a custom site in order to generate broad awareness and encourage sales. The website design needed to showcase the company’s products while also conveying the story and tradition that made Van Winkle a top-shelf brand.


We wanted to create great products for bourbon drinkers and uphold our family tradition. We knew if we could do that well, the money would come later.Carrie Van Winkle Greener, founder of Pappy & Company

BigCommerce benefit

A perfect blend of customizability and simplicity

Pappy & Company teamed up with ecommerce marketing agency and BigCommerce Partner Rockfish Digital to hone the brand and evolve its online presence. Rockfish created an immersive experience using large graphics and storytelling. The firm heavily customized the homepage, but was also able to leverage many off-the-shelf platform features to create a captivating site.

“We saw that Pappy & Company had an opportunity to tell a rich story behind each of the products, and specifically how the products relate to the Pappy Van Winkle brand,” said Michael Orzali, Rockfish senior director of business development. “We wanted to help them realize this potential. They already trusted BigCommerce as a platform, and we knew that BigCommerce provided the tools we needed to present Pappy & Company’s newly defined brand equity, mission statement and reason to believe in a format geared toward driving online sales.”

After seeing the concept fully brought to life, Van Winkler Greener knew that Pappy & Company struck the right balance for its entry into ecommerce. “We selected BigCommerce because we wanted a platform that would be easy for us to manage, but flexible enough for Rockfish to realize this new vision for the brand,” she explained. “What we ended up with is a lifestyle experience that bourbon drinkers want to be part of.”

The Pappy & Company team was also able to use several BigCommerce apps to support operations and marketing. They selected eCC to integrate BigCommerce with Quickbooks, Zendesk for customer service, JustUno for newsletter signup discounts and Constant Contact for email automation.


We saw that Pappy & Company had an opportunity to tell a rich story behind each of the products, and specifically how the products relate to the Pappy Van Winkle brand.Michael Orzali, Rockfish senior director of business development
desktop-bourbon-balls
BigCommerce was simple enough for us to manage but customizable enough for Rockfish to create an immersive experience.Carrie Van Winkle Greener, co-founder, Pappy & Company

Big results

New success for a well-aged brand

183% $4,162 500%
YoY increase in sales Avg. revenue per email sent Increase in newsletter signups


The new website’s simple, beautiful design garnered an immediate positive reaction from Pappy & Company customers. The company has also seen renewed interest from the media, with products featured in the Huffington Post and other high-traffic publications.

The marketing integrations Pappy & Company implemented have helped substantially grow the company’s database and sales. The team doubled the size of their contact list in less than a year, spurred by a 500% increase in newsletter signups. The brand has also seen an average click-through rate of 53% for emails. Email has proven to be their best conversion tool, generating an average of $4,162 per send. Overall, sales have increased by 183% year over year.

“Our store is now more than a shopping destination, it’s an immersive experience that truly reflects the heritage and meaning of the Van Winkle brand for the bourbon community,” said Van Winkle Greener. “With the creative marketing leadership of Rockfish and the customizability of BigCommerce, we’ve increased brand loyalty and sales and poised ourselves to continue growing for years to come.”

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