Everything’s Coming Up Rosé

In 2018 Bauerhaus worked with the Illinois and Grape Growers Vintners Alliance (IGGVA) Board on several projects.

Bauerhaus created a comprehensive marketing plan for the IGGVA, plus provided a promotional plan for a new program, called the Illinois Rosé project.

Through a state-wide qualification process, wineries can submit their Rosé to become an official Illinois Rosé. They hired Bauerhaus for naming, logo design, brand standards guide, and bottle necker design.

The final name “Everything’s coming up Rosé in Illinois” was chosen by the board. We then created and presented 3 logo designs. The final logo is modern, fun, and chosen for its appeal to the Millennial Rosé wine drinkers.

Custom Google Map Creation

How can you best show all wineries in your state?

Create a custom Google map that is mobile friendly and can be used from any desktop or phone.

Illinois wine (Illinois Grape Growers & Vintners Alliance) hired Bauerhaus to build a custom Google map to make it easier for people to find Illinois Wineries. Check out the live Illinois Winery Locator map here.

Custom features included:

  • Auto-location
  • Location by zip code or city
  • State outlined in purple
  • Designed VIP locator pins for member wineries
  • Ability to show member wineries first over non-member wineries
  • Various radius options: 10 – 400 miles
  • Sidebar call out for member wineries

Once you enter your location the map zooms in to the area in the mile radius you specify:


Next, if you click on a map marker or a winery in the sidebar, a box shows up with winery information and a “get directions” link.


KC Wineworks Can Packaging Design

In 2018, KC Wineworks approached Bauerhaus about designing a canned wine to appeal to their Female Millennial and Generation X target market.

The marketing director, Lindsay, and I started the conversation by talking about the importance of the can color. It needed to photograph well on Instagram, no matter the background.

We also wanted the name to be a hashtag that was new, so consumers could easily tag photos on Instagram and KC Wineworks could re-post the photos on their social media accounts. Hashtags are free advertising for any brand and incorporating the hashtag on the can increased their social reach.

Results? They launched with 3,000 cans on August 3rd and by September 20 they had sold 2,700 cans. Plus, fans tagged their photos with #showmesangria on Instagram.

James, the winemaker, also says that this is their “gateway wine.” Meaning people say they don’t like wine, drink this, and then want to try the rest of their other wines.

Want to see their wine in bottles?

To see their full product line, plus read about the Midwest owners, check out the case study KC Wineworks: Collaborating to create a family wine brand. 

Fukutaro: Launching a food brand in the U.S.

Food brand website design and development

Fukutaro entered the U.S. market in 2019 at the Saratoga Wine and Food Festival. To launch the brand, Bauerhaus created a website, Facebook page and provided content marketing. Plus, we currently provide monthly social media posting.

Established in 1909, Yamaguchi Aburaya Fukutaro began as a cooking oil merchant and grew into a general food manufacturer and wholesaler that specializes in spicy cod roe and other mentaiko-related foods.

Located in Fukuoka, a Japanese prefecture known for its culinary delights, they proudly produce over 1,000 food items including oil, sesame oil, rice, frozen food, and condiments. Their extensive range of delicious products is perfect for both home and professional use.

Fukutaro is planning on launching in New York City in the Fall of 2019.

Smoked Iguana BBQ packaging design

food label design for barbeque sauce

Smoked Iguana is a small batch Barbeque sauce company located in Trenton, Missouri. We worked with this food brand on logo, illustration, and packaging design.

They have two sauces out right now, Original BBQ Sauce, and Mango Habanero.

To achieve the metallic shine, we worked together with their printer, Curtis 1000. The labels were printed on Metallized Film using 4 color process (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, & Black),  plus white ink.

Follow their brand on the Smoked Iguana Facebook page. They also sell it at Hy Vee stores in Liberty, Trenton, Chillicothe, Unionville, and Chariton, IA.  You can also order online from Hawgeyes Bbq.

Maruhon Sesame Oil: Creating a Japanese Brand for American Customers

Website, packaging, and collateral for food company

How a Japanese Sesame Oil brand entered the U.S. market with market research, packaging design, promotions and strategic website design and development.

One of the most significant steps a company can take is entering into a foreign market. If it’s going to be successful, it requires research and a clear strategy. It also requires a partner in the target country to help make it happen. When Maruhon Sesame Oil decided to begin exporting to the U.S. in 2018, they found such a partner in Bauerhaus Design.

Maruhon Sesame Oil is owned by Takemoto Oil & Fat Co., Ltd., headquartered in Aichi, Japan. The company was established nearly 300 years ago in 1725. Their sesame oil products have enjoyed popularity in Japan for use in Michelin Star restaurants as well as home kitchens. In preparing to launch their products in the United States they needed to consider new labels, a website, and a marketing strategy for English speaking customers. It was essential to find an experienced design and marketing firm to ease them into the marketplace.

An International Search for a Branding and Marketing Team

Maruhon Sesame Oil enlisted the service of Knowledge Corporation Index, a marketing company who assists Japanese clients in entering the U.S. market. Bauerhaus Design first worked with Knowledge Corporation for another one of their clients, Shirataki Sake. Based on their established rapport with the sake brand, Bauerhaus was the obvious choice when choosing someone to work with Maruhon Sesame Oil.

Research and Planning for Entering a New Market

Bauerhaus Design begins all client engagements with an in-depth questionnaire. Armed with a thorough understanding of Maruhon’s goals, Bauerhaus then crafted a market research survey. It was distributed to food bloggers as well as a random audience of consumers. The results produced valuable information on how to proceed with a marketing strategy for the brand.

Bauerhaus owner Rebecca Ritz can’t stress enough the importance of market research for brands entering the U.S. Entering a new market can present challenges of language and cultural differences. It is essential for all brands to identify their demographics, choose how to communicate with their customers, identify opportunities, and minimize risks. Bauerhaus invests ample time to ensure their clients start their marketing journey on the right path.

Packaging for the U.S. Market

Since this was the first time that Maruhon Sesame Oil was entering an English-speaking market, all of their packaging was in Japanese. They needed all new packaging for their four varieties of oil in two different sizes. Rebecca’s experience in creating labels for the wine, spirits, and food industry were instrumental in the project. The only thing that carried over to the new design was the shape of the bottles. Bauerhaus also worked with Maruhon on translating the descriptions into English.

Creating a New Website

Next on the agenda was a new responsive website. As with any website Bauerhaus builds, the primary goal was to create a website with a clear customer path and a compelling call to action. On this site, Bauerhaus proposed a free recipe giveaway that is automatically sent with an email autoresponder. This responsive website was developed and designed to introduce this well-established sesame oil brand to the American home cook. It features “Sesame 101,” and describes each of the four sesame oils in detail. Each month Bauerhaus also adds new content, like news articles and recipes to the website. Click here to view the Maruhon website.

Promotional Designs

Maruhon Sesame Oil participated in various promotions to launch their brand in New York. They partnered with the influencer marketing platform Ripple Street, which introduces new brands to consumers. Bauerhaus designed materials to introduce and promote the four types of oil.

The company also forged a relationship with the Culinary Institute of America in New York. Bauerhaus provided the poster design as well as flyers for a “Win a Trip to Japan” contest for the Institute’s aspiring chefs.

Ads were also created for the New York gourmet grocery chain, DeCicco & Sons, where Maruhon’s products are sold. Plus, Bauerhaus designed the “Maruhon Times,” a free, printed sesame oil recipe guide that was distributed at DeCicco & Sons.

Crafting a Marketing Strategy and Social Media

Bauerhaus Design formulated a social media campaign plan that would resonate with their new American client base. Using Pinterest and Facebook, they initiated a dialogue with current and potential customers. Monthly content creation, report of the results, plus consultations to review and tweak the marketing strategy are part of the services provided in this engagement.

Off to a Successful Start

It is important for any overseas company to find a seasoned marketing professional located within the market they are trying to enter. When Maruhon Sesame Oil hired Bauerhaus Design for their product’s United States debut, they got more than just someone who speaks English. They were also able to tap into the awareness of American culture, design styles, and the latest food trends that only a native can possess.

The main objective for a foreign brand is to work with someone they can trust to create a brand identity that will appeal to the U.S./English-speaking market. When a designer has done the necessary research and planning – as Bauerhaus has – a client like Maruhon can be confident that they are moving in the right direction.

The brand has launched and debuted its new packaging in New York stores, plus at a Japan Export trades show. It has received many compliments from English speaking fans that want to import their product into Europe. Maruhon is confident that their well-thought-out marketing plan will bring the desired results.

Many Happy Miles website design and development

Another Mother Runner already had a successful training plan for 5k’s through Ultra’s called Train Like A Mother, but their customers kept asking for a monthly ongoing plan.

They created the Many Happy Miles yearly subscription with 12 months of workouts + challenges; a special welcome gift; exclusive workshops + podcasts with experts; steep discounts on our favorite gear; and most importantly a community of Mother Runners.

All of the Many Happy Miles elements are designed with one goal in mind: to help you feel balanced, patient, strong, motivated, confident, and forgiving in 2019.

Bauerhaus provided website design and development for the entire program.

Key features:

  • Sales page design and development
  • Three monthly payment subscription options
  • Backend development to hook everything together
  • Subscriber landing page with easy navigation
  • Show only content the subscriber has paid for
  • Ongoing monthly maintenance

Below is the original winning design for the sales page and backend that was presented to the client and then programmed into a custom website.

Online Course custom design and development

Online Workout course

Bingham Family Vineyard: A Wine Brand and Family in Perfect Harmony

“When you have a product, you’d better really like the label,” says Betty Bingham of Bingham Family Vineyards, “because you’re going to see a whole lot of it for a very long time. Every time I look at a bottle of our wine, I’m thankful that we spent the time and money and worked with Bauerhaus Design.”

The Bingham family has been farming in Meadow, Texas for generations. Current owners Cliff and Betty began when they married in 1981. In 1992 the farm became certified organic with the Texas Department of Agriculture. They grew mostly cotton and peanuts, rotating in black-eyed peas, sesame seeds, or whatever the market called for. In 2003 they planted five acres of grapes.

The decision started out as a practical one. As Betty explains, the water tables were dropping in the area and grapes need a lot less water than peanuts. Plus, there was a growing market for them with local wineries.


Growing grapes was new to them but it was still farming. When they established a winery to make their own wine in 2014, however, they were in unfamiliar territory. “We had no idea what we were doing when it came to branding or marketing a product,” explains Betty.

They found guidance at the Texas Wine & Grape Growers Association Conference. Rebecca Ritz, owner of Bauerhaus Design was speaking there. They hired her right away.

“I was apprehensive of the entire process of working on our brand,” remembers Betty. “I had no idea what to expect, but it really flowed smoothly. Rebecca walked us through the steps and gave us the answers we needed when we didn’t even know what questions to ask.”

winery logo and label design
winery logo and label design


By learning as much as she can about a client, Becca is able to zero in on what sets them apart. Her process always begins with an extensive questionnaire asking clients about themselves, their wine and winery, and what makes them unique. It’s an essential part of designing a brand that will represent the winery’s distinct personality.

The Binghams knew they wanted to communicate a joyful customer experience with their brand. In their initial conversations with Becca, the family focused on their love of art, music, wine, and food. It was around these aspects that they built their brand position.

wine label design with music
wine label design with music


First, winemaking is truly a family venture. Betty and Cliff have eleven children ranging from age 34 to 15. They’ve always encouraged them to choose their own paths but they’ve all worked in in the business at some point. “From the vineyard to retail sales, there’s such a wide variety of jobs and opportunities,” says Betty. “they each find the aspect they enjoy doing and find their niche.” Some have studied Oenology and Viticulture and plan to make a career at the vineyard.

Music plays an integral part in the Bingham family. “With eleven kids, people sometimes asked Cliff if he was hoping for a baseball or football team,” says Betty. “He’d say ‘actually, I wanted an orchestra.’” Each member plays at least one instrument and they can often be found entertaining the crowd at the winery or one of the tasting rooms. It sets the wine brand apart from others – a winery with a musical family.

Last but definitely not least, is the distinctiveness of the wine. “We produce 100% authentic, estate wine. In Texas, that’s somewhat unique,” explains Betty. “Our 100% Texas grown grapes reassure our customers that they’re exploring and enjoying the true taste of Texas High Plains wine.”

Texas wine label design
Texas wine label design


Becca was able to incorporate the family’s passions into their logo and label. She transformed a musical note into a stylized capital “B,” with the family name in a sophisticated font beneath it. On the label, a drawing penned by Cliff’s mother Peggy Bingham is beneath the logo. Finally, a banner at the bottom of the label reads “100% Texas Grown / Texas High Plains.”

“We’re all so pleased with it,” says Betty. “Rebecca was very patient with us. She’s good about listening and adding little details while keeping to what was necessary from a design standpoint.”

Logo design on wine capsule
Logo design on wine capsule


In addition to the vineyard and tasting room in Meadow, the Binghams have a tasting room in Grapevine, Texas that is part of the Urban Wine Trail. In fall 2018, they will open their third location in Fredericksburg, Texas. They are partnering with Yee Haw Ranch Outfitters, a retailer that wanted to include an authentic tasting room at its new location.

It’s important that Bingham’s branding and image remain consistent across all venues. Each location – and a wine club – brings different customers and sometimes even different price points. Bauerhaus provides a Brand Standards Guide to its clients. It has all the information needed, such as colors, fonts, and specs, to use the logo for marketing purposes without having to call Becca every time.

music wine label design
music wine label design


The Bingham’s original five acres of grapes have expanded to more than 160 with ten varieties each of red and white grapes. Their production has increased steadily in the four years since opening. They use 10-20% of their grape yield for their own wine and grape juice and distribute the remainder to other wineries in the state. They still farm an additional 2000 acres of other crops.

Betty sees her children’s range of ages as an asset for keeping in tune with the market as their target demographic changes. She once would have described their target market as baby boomers, but her thoughts on that has evolved. She’s finding that Generation X and Millennials have an appreciation for their wine’s authenticity and they enjoy interacting with the grape growers and winemakers.

The Binghams have learned that a strong brand strategy is essential to their success. They’re confident that the recognizable logo and brand identity orchestrated by Bauerhaus Design will help their wine brand flourish for generations to come.

Wine brand logo and packaging
Wine brand logo and packaging

Leonard Wine Company: Creating an American Wine Brand with European Flair

When Tom Leonard and his son Chris established Leonard Wine Company in 2014, they agreed that nothing but the best would do. “Our wine was going to be high-end,” says Tom. “Not just our wine, but everything about our wine brand was going to be first class. We were going to find the best bottles we could get, the best corks, and the best labels.”

They wanted the best for their logo and brand identity too. They enlisted Becca Ritz or Bauerhaus Design to help transform their vision into reality.

Before contracting with Bauerhaus, the Leonards hired another designer. “We explained what we wanted. He came back to us with a very professional, very polished presentation. It was very cool, but it was the total opposite of what we were trying to do.” Instead of listening to their feedback, the designer kept trying to steer them toward his designs. “It was frustrating,” says Tom.

Finding the Right Match

An online search led them to Bauerhaus Design. Becca invited Tom to be her guest at the Midwest Wine & Beverage Conference. He liked that she specialized in the wine industry and hired her. “She understood what we were trying to convey,” says Tom. “She was very easy to work with and came up with some very creative stuff that worked. People comment on our labels all the time. The design matches our personality. She gets it.”

Becca created all of Leonard Wine Company’s packaging, including their labels and capsule design (the foil sleeve on the top of the bottle.) She also designed their website, letterhead, business cards, and tech sheets, which provide buyers with important details about the wine’s characteristics.

Partnering Across the Miles

Leonard Wine Company was founded when Chris Leonard approached his dad about starting his own wine label. “I was about to retire after 40 years in the family manufacturer’s rep business and was ready for something new,” says Tom.

The two are from St. Louis, Missouri, where Tom still lives. The plan was for Tom to manage operations from St. Louis. Chris would make the wine in Napa, California, where he had worked in the industry for the past ten years.

Wine is in their Veins

Fine wine and cuisine figured prominently in the Leonard family for generations. Tom’s grandmother had a catering business, and later a high-end French restaurant. He spent summers as a teenager working there and learning about wine and pairing food with wine. He worked in restaurants throughout college in the 1970s. “When everyone else was drinking beer,” he recalls, “I was drinking wine.”

After college, he spent nearly a year traveling around Europe with friends. “Experiencing the differences in wine from country to country, I developed an even deeper appreciation.”

Chris considered culinary school before opting for a degree in Hospitality Management. He began his winemaking career while in college, studying under a Master Sommelier. He worked in vineyards during summer breaks. He also traveled abroad, working grape harvests in New Zealand and Italy. When he settled in Napa, he applied the valuable hands-on knowledge of his European experience to work at prestigious vineyards. He learned the industry and was mentored by renowned winemakers.

Taking a Novel Approach

“Our goal was to do something different,” says Tom. “Chris wanted to make wine using California grapes, and European techniques. That’s what makes us unique – we’re a couple of guys from Missouri, making California wine in a European style.”

The Leonards decided to specialize in two varietal grapes: Zinfandel which is native to California, and Roussanne, which is less well-known in the United States and typically used for blending. “Very few people make 100% Roussanne wine,” says Tom.

Rather than grow their own grapes, they buy them from vineyards around Napa. Despite not having their own acreage, Chris is very hands-on, working the vines himself. He prunes and shapes them by hand, cultivating the crop exactly how he wants it. The result is a unique grape with a more concentrated flavor.

The winemaking and fermentation takes place at a custom crush facility. These production sites, which are common in California, can be rented by independent winemakers.

Two Distinct Branding Strategies

Leonard Wine Company’s brand is actually two branding strategies, mirroring the two different grapes. The Zinfandel is bottled using the Leonard label. It features a lion, like those found on European family crests. “There are a lot of lions in logos,” says Tom, “but Becca made ours distinctive.” She turned the lion’s paws and tail into fleur-de-lis as a nod to St. Louis. The lion is holding a wine glass.

The Roussanne brand pays homage to their Midwest roots. “St. Louis is all about the Gateway Arch and the Muddy Mississippi,” says Tom. “Becca understood our vision for the Muddy Arch brand.” The logo features an outline of the iconic landmark and the river flowing at its feet.

Elegant, Vineyard Designate Wines

The Leonards’ wine distinguishes itself as a luxury wine brand. It has a higher price point and is targeted to older baby boomers. They find that the older demographic is willing to pay more for a classically structured wine than younger generations. Becca’s design expertise helps them steer their marketing efforts in that direction.

In its first year, Leonard Wine Company produced 300 cases, increasing by about 200-300 cases per year. “For 2018, we’re at about 1000 cases per year,” says Tom. “We’re starting to get more of the market share. We have the resources and connections to get more grapes as we grow.”

The Leonards plan to open a traditional tasting room soon, but currently sell their wine to restaurants, wine stores, and online. Their sales breakdown is approximately one third each in California and the St. Louis area. The final third comes from members of their wine club throughout the country, many of whom joined before even tasting the wine. The wine’s reputation and news of their old-world techniques fueled word of mouth sales.

Private dinners comprise another sales stream. Staying true to the family’s culinary background, they host farm to table dinners. Guests enjoy special menus created by a professional chef, designed specifically to pair with Leonard wines.

Nothing but the Best

Tom and Chris recognize that building a wine brand can be time-consuming and expensive, so it’s important to find someone who understands what you’re trying to do. “Wineries are Becca’s niche,” says Tom. “It’s what she specializes in, and it shows. She knew what was best for our brand. The value is definitely worth it.”

KC Wineworks: Collaborating to Create a Family Wine Brand

Design choices made at the onset of any new business venture are crucial to defining a brand. When you have multiple decision makers, different generations, and family dynamics, making those choices can become a challenge.

KC Wineworks is the first full-scale production winery to open in the vibrant Crossroads Arts District in Kansas City, Missouri.

Winemaker James Lowery and his wife Lindsay Clausen manage the urban winery. James’ parents, Robert Lowery and Jeanne Hunt are the owners and grow the grapes at Silver Leaf Vineyard about two and a half hours away.

“We all knew there was a lot riding on getting it right the first time,” says Lindsay. “But we’re all independent thinkers with clear visions of what we wanted.”

By choosing Bauerhaus Design, they found a partner in their process. As a neutral party, Designer Becca Ritz managed to blend the family’s divergent ideas. The result is a distinctive brand that embodies the winery’s personality.


“A lot of people think that Missouri can’t produce the caliber of wine found on the west coast or in Italy, France, or Spain,” says Lindsay. KC Wineworks does just that, using only Missouri grapes sourced from the family vineyard and other local growers. “We distinguish ourselves with our style of wine and our support of great local farmers.”

Agreeing on what made their winery unique was easy. Reaching a consensus on their target market and deciding on a logo were more challenging. Becca’s first task was to help guide them in clarifying their ideal consumer. She then had to combine everyone’s opinions on a logo and create a brand image that would satisfy all their tastes.

Wine label design

A Family Business in the Making

Robert Lowery was born and raised on his family’s dairy farm in Macon, Missouri. In the 1970s, he purchased a parcel of that land from his Great Grandfather’s estate. His career took him to the west coast where he met Jeanne. They both worked in the Forestry industry and raised their two children in Washington and Oregon.

While living in that wine-rich region Robert took up winemaking as a hobby. His son James helped and shared his interest. Robert planted a one-acre test vineyard on the land back in Missouri. When he and Jeanne retired in 2009, they moved back to Macon. They added a few more acres of grapes and began selling them commercially.
Meanwhile, James was living in Seattle, Washington. The recession took a toll on his career as an underwater diver in the off-shore oil industry. He relocated to Kansas City with then-girlfriend Lindsay who had a background in the hospitality industry.

KC Wineworks was our son James’ idea,” says Jeanne. “He wanted to build a winery in downtown Kansas City and use our grapes to make high-quality wine.” They family started working on 2014 and 2015 vintages and opened their doors on April 1, 2016.

Wine in a can design


“We met Becca Ritz of Bauerhaus Design at several Midwest Wine Conferences,” explains Jeanne. Becca was establishing a niche in the wine and spirits industry. “We all liked her work and felt she was a good fit for us. When we were ready to take the leap to open the winery, we didn’t even bother looking at any other designers.”

As someone familiar with the industry, Becca is also knowledgeable about the Alcohol Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau’s COLA (Certificate of Label Approval) process. This expertise helps clients remain in compliance.


Robert and Jeanne identify with baby boomers and earlier generations. James and Lindsay are Gen Xers who recognize the need to appeal to millennials. The age difference resulted in two different approaches to a business model.

“The winery scene is trending heavily with millennials,” says Lindsay. “We’re seeing young professionals who are eager to support local businesses.”

Jeanne has a slightly different perspective. “Most visitors to the winery might be younger, but when the boomers come, they’re more likely to buy bottles to take home.”

Becca’s design process begins with a comprehensive questionnaire. It helps clients clarify their goals for their brand. Jeanne found Becca’s tools for identifying their target consumer particularly helpful. “It pinpointed the type of wine drinker instead of just the age group,” she says. Lindsay adds, “Becca really gets to know her clients and helps them zone in on their target.”


James came up with the concept of a gear for KC Wineworks logo. It fits with the winery’s urban setting in what was once an industrial area. “In marketing trends,” says Lindsay “readily identifiable icons are everywhere. We wanted a logo that had the potential to be iconic.”

Jeanne admits she wasn’t sold on the idea of the gear at first and would have opted for something more conventional.

The logo went through several versions before it was finalized. “It took some time for the four of us to wrap our minds around the same thing,” says Jeanne. “But Becca was extremely patient with us and was able to pull everyone’s ideas together.”

Lindsay agrees. “She gave us a lot of options. We’d pick the features we liked and she’d incorporate our feedback into her next version.”
Lindsay calls the final logo a “grand slam.” It features James’ gear, representing the urban, somewhat industrial feeling. The winery’s name is in a sophisticated, traditional, serif font with a swooping tail on the letter K. The result is something that appeals to all four. It strikes a balance with an iconic image for millennials, and something refined, yet unpretentious for baby boomers. “It’s very distinctive and we hear a lot of comments about it,” says Jeanne.


In the years since it opened, KC Wineworks has experienced steady growth. In their first nine months, they sold 824 cases of wine. That grew to 1363 cases in 2017 and Jeanne expects it to increase in 2018. Thanks to their logo designed by Bauerhaus, it has exceptional brand awareness and social media engagement without spending money on traditional advertising. “We wanted something that Kansas City could embrace, and we’ve succeeded,” says Lindsay.

“Becca is in tune with our brand and has her finger on the pulse of the industry as it grows and evolves,” says Lindsay. “She brings an infectious excitement to her work and designs. She is an amazing individual and has been a godsend!”

Jeanne agrees. “We couldn’t have done it without her.”