Pinky, Pepe and Charity
For Pinky Rodgers, business is constant motion, by Warren Douglas

Pinky and PepeWhile traffic at her Pinky and Pepe’s Grape Escape in The Kentlands may ebb and flow with the tide of the day, the Winston Churchill High School graduate is always moving, always thinking of ways to improve business, reach out to the community and, more importantly, raise money for charities close to her heart.

After suffering from “corporate America burn out,” Pinky and her husband Pepe (photo: pictured in the center) turned her passion for wine and his passion for beer into a thriving small business that is approaching its fourth anniversary.

Their selection of wines and local and craft beers is extensive and their store is tastefully and comfortably decorated to allow for what has been Pinky and Pepe’s biggest success story – complimentary wine tastings and live music every Friday night. Patrons can order food from select local restaurants while sampling wines from around the world or simply enjoying their favorite bottle.
Beyond the good cheer and local neighborhood draw that the Grape Escape provides on a Friday night, it also provides a platform for raising money for such charities as breast cancer prevention, Alzheimer’s disease, Operation Second Chance and the Wounded Warrior Project. The latter two are particularly close to Pinky as her son is a U.S. Marine who served in Afghanistan and is now stationed at Camp Pendleton.

“We never say no to schools and auctions. We love giving back, and we love doing it,” Pinky says.
While Pinky and Pepe enjoy the friends and guests who frequent their store, don’t expect a late night. They close promptly at 10 p.m.