This may no longer be grandma’s Appalachia, but her influence can’t be missed.

Destination by Design was commissioned by ARC to develop a tourism map guide identifying Appalachia’s most distinctive local food destinations.  The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is a federal economic development agency that serves as a strategic partner and advocate for sustainable community development and growth in Appalachia. With the growing demand for local food, local beer, and well local everything, it’s fitting that ARC would want help telling the story of Appalachia’s most distinctive destinations and entrepreneurial culture. We developed a nomination process, including promotional video, and created a custom print and online map identifying Appalachia’s favorite food, farms, and flavors.

Fresh, fun, and independent–that’s how someone might describe Appalachia today. To capture the region’s multi-faceted culture and cuisine, we started by developing Bon Appetit Appalachia, a strong brand name and logo that reflected Appalachia’s unique culinary personality. Then icons were developed to represent each of six local food categories: Farmers Markets; Farm-to-Fork Restaurants; Farm Tours; Events; Vineyards and Wineries; and Craft Breweries and Spirits.

YouTube video
We produced 2 videos for the project. Our initial effort promoted the Bon Appetit Appalachia project launch and encouraged local food business nominations throughout the 13-state region.

For our second video we interviewed tourism leaders throughout the 13-state Appalachian region to reveal the strategy and vision behind the Bon Appetit Appalachia project.

YouTube video

From more than 900 total nominations, we featured 230 of the most distinctive local food destinations located throughout the Appalachian Region. The map guide we created was featured in the 2014 summer edition of Food Traveler Magazine and was distributed to Barnes and Noble nationwide.

So much good food. So little cyberspace.

With so many great places to feature and limited room on the printed map guide, we created an interactive and ever-evolving website. And still, the region continues to overflow with good food.


Social Media Marketing Guide and Workshops

One of the most influential sources of information about any brand or company comes from highly satisfied customers–otherwise known as brand advocates. Oftentimes, this advocacy is expressed through social media; such as online reviews, recommendations, ratings and personal posts about their experiences. Of course this holds true for local food and travel, too.

With this in mind, we partnered with all 13 Appalachian states to teach their local food businesses how to harness the power of social media for word-of-mouth marketing. What was our special sauce? The Social Media Cookbook.

In a fun, easy-to-read format, the Cookbook presents simple social media tips and techniques to help local food entrepreneurs and small businesses engage with their customers online. Additionally, we conducted multiple workshops across the 13-state region to provide these small business owners with leadership and hands-on social media training. The results were delectable.


The Big Apple Comes to Appalachia

Pretty quickly the new Bon Appetit Appalachia brand was turning heads and pleasing tastebuds as far away as New York City.


Every local food promotion deserves some good photography. Unfortunately we haven’t developed scratch-and-sniff technology yet.