Case Study

Massachusetts, 1991: It started with a dream, or rather...two dreams. Two young brothers, Ross and Matt Brockman, awoke at the exact moment. Both had experienced similar visions. “Unfiltered Craft Cider!”, they both exclaimed, in unison. They were four years old and seven years old, respectively. Twenty years later, the dream became reality. After years of twists and turns, , Downeast was born. Years of recipe tweaking on an old orchard in Maine led them to unfiltered Original Blend in 2011. We’re kidding. Mostly. Downeast did start in 2011. The rest just felt “craft” to write. Yes, Downeast was started by two brothers. It’s unclear if they remember the dreams they had as children. Downeast was born out of Bates College by guys who wanted to make a great tasting, farm fresh cider they remembered drinking growing up. What grew out of some dorm room brainstorming has turned into...this.

Project overview

Downeast Cider was looking for a fresh, relevant and current custom design. In addition, they needed a seamless shipping, local pickup and delivery solution that respected alcohol compliance.

More: Whirlwind and VinoShipper building Alcohol Compliant eCommerce solutions



Downeast needed a fresh design that was both cutting edge, brand respective and produced high conversions.

Multichannel fulfillment

Third party fulfillment tools often took a 'please everybody at the expense of the customer experience' approach, by making options complicated which creates customer friction. Additionally, Downeast had a host of specific, details fulfillment requirements that needed to be addressed without complicating the customer interface.

Alcohol compliance

Existing alcohol compliance solutions limited options to either juggling multiple vendors or accepting a lesser customer experience.

POS Integration

Downeast wanted to process orders on-site as well as over the internet without adding catalog management or fulfillment complication.


After considering several designer approaches, apps and services to address requirements, Whirlwind identified best-of-breed solutions combined with custom development components to provide an all-encompassing and unique solution.

We begin by testing skeleton use cases for high risk challenges before digging into development. This allows us to address technical shortcomings before significant costs were accrued and also set clear expectations with the client and development team.

We worked hand in hand with app developers and fulfillment services to bring off-the-shelf solutions to the next level and truly provide a cutting edge solution.



Cutting edge design

Fresh, relevant and current custom design, consistant with branding strategy, appealing to the target market and unique enough to generate excitement.

Multichannel fulfillment

Seamless shipping, local pickup and delivery options for customers that provides flexibility the customers desire, limitations / controls needed by Downeast and reduced friction to increase conversion rates.

Shopify POS

Point of sale integration to allow merchandise and alcohol orders from client locations and pop up merchandising opportunities. Single catalog and fulfillment system for online and offline clients.

Client feedback

Whirlwind is an absolute pleasure to work with. They are diligent, communicative, and skilled at what they do. They were a trustworthy guide as we navigated several major challenges on both the front end and back end. And were instrumental in turning our high-level vision into a reality.


Grateful to have had them leading our project and would highly recommend them to anyone

Nick S.
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