I don’t know how we’d collaborate without G Suite tools.”Jenna Fischer
Digital and Consumer Strategist
A fifth-generation winemaker, Sandi Vojta grew up on the prairie learning to pick berries and make wine with the help of her father, Ralph. Years later, Ralph and Sandi started their own winery called Prairie Berry. It was not an instant success. They faced their share of obstacles, including skepticism about having a woman as the head winemaker. “I was a female winemaker running a fruit winery in South Dakota,” she said. “That was unusual at the time, but we just kept our heads down, worked hard, and overcame.” Over time, Prairie Berry’s handcrafted wines did well enough to warrant expanding. The company added Miner Brewing Company to its roster in 2013, along with a Black Hills events venue and a Sioux Falls location in 2014. As the company’s portfolio grew, so did its need to market itself online.
To help it reach its diverse customer base, Prairie Berry relies on a number of Google products to manage its digital presence and promote its online sales channels. In 2018, Google Ads was responsible for more than 14% of Prairie Berry’s total website traffic and 37% of traffic to its Sioux Falls website. Google Ads has helped Prairie Berry generate an impressive 334% return on investment for e-commerce sales. The company also uses G Suite apps such as Gmail, Docs, Calendar, and Sheets to communicate across teams. “We’ve got two corporate locations that are 400 miles and a time zone apart,” said Jenna Fischer, digital and consumer strategist at Prairie Berry. “I don’t know how we’d collaborate without G Suite tools.”
Between its Google-supported digital efforts and its brick-and-mortar presence, Prairie Berry is able to reach and serve more than 200,000 customers annually. The company plans to keep expanding its distribution, including Nebraska in 2019. “We’re really focusing on the states that surround South Dakota so we can get Prairie Berry to more people,” said Matt Keck, chief operations officer at Prairie Berry. As founding members of the South Dakota Wine Growers Association, Sandi and her team are passionate about their regional community. Prairie Berry regularly hosts events that benefit local businesses and often donates products and funds to important charitable causes. This year, the company plans to release a beer in collaboration with the organization, which helps female brewmasters and other industry professionals advance their careers through education. Moving forward, Sandi hopes to continue bringing joy to her customers: “Our products allow people to be able to create memories and experiences. It’s amazing.”