Meet Matthew and Jon’ll Boyd, The Only Black Family-Owned Winery in Maryland

Boyd Cru Wines is the only Black family-owned winery in Maryland, created by Matthew and Jon’ll Boyd. In an interview with Canvas Rebel, Jon’ll said that they created the winery to honor and carry on their family’s legacy, as well as to create a community with their two sons.

The entrepreneur went on to say that they both grew up in families that emphasized community involvement and making a difference. Matthew’s grandparents were also trailblazers. Jon’ll’s family owned several acres of land, and his grandmother owned one of the earliest and largest chains and salons for women of color.

She emphasized that they decided to take on the wine industry after noticing a lack 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.”

The two utilized money from their personal savings and 401k to break into the about $1 million winery company, omitting land, equipment, and vine planting, and then quickly began looking at ways of getting 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.

Following the sudden and premature deaths of her spouse’s mother and nephew during the pandemic, she was inspired to start the winery. According to Jon’ll, the pair decided to “really follow our dreams as a family and build community and connection that became sorely missed during the pandemic” as a result.

According to Decanter, just about 1% of the more than 11,000 wineries in the United States have a black winemaker or are black-owned. Since opening its doors, the Boyds have worked tirelessly to uphold standards that will benefit and strengthen 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.

Leave a Reply