F&B Professional Profile with Cynthia Torp

F&B Professional Profile with Cynthia TorpCynthia Torp is President of Solid Light, a full-service firm that designs and builds exhibits and visitor experiences that engage, enlighten, and inspire. Champions of their client’s vision, they help bring powerful stories to life through comprehensive, start-to-finish content, design, fabrication and installation services.

F&B Professional Profile with Cynthia TorpEveryone has a story. Tell us how you knew you wanted to enter the design field. What was your “light bulb” moment?
Although I always knew I wanted to work in the design field, the “light bulb” moment that affected my thinking – for my design work and in the rest of my life – was in college. I’d taken at least five art history classes in college, but then I enrolled in one where I learned about the great women artists of the world. All the other classes had left out the women. This class changed my life: It was my first lesson in how the same story can change dramatically depending on the point of view it’s told from. It’s something I keep in mind to this day with Solid Light’s exhibit design work.

Please briefly explain the development of the Sagamore Spirit Distillery visitor experience?
The developers of Sagamore Spirit commissioned Solid Light to help bring the Sagamore Spirit brand to life and to design an immersive visitor experience for the distillery in Baltimore that would inspire a restoration and renaissance of Maryland’s forgotten heritage of crafting American rye whiskey. To develop the experience, our research team found historical documents and images, and spoke to historians to understand what distilling in Maryland looked and felt like before Prohibition.

This information became the foundation the team used to create interpretive graphics and interactive media elements, including a digital map of Maryland and Baltimore distilling throughout history. Additionally, we wanted to ensure visitors understood how Sagamore Spirit Rye Whiskey is made. So, everything from the visual media components to the look and feel of the tasting venues were designed and created by Solid Light to highlight the unique importance of the water and triple distillation process, and take visitors on the 22-mile journey from the spring waters at Sagamore Farm — trucked in daily to make Sagamore rye whiskey — to the distillery in Baltimore.

By blending the historical with the contemporary, the visitor experience tells the stories of Baltimore’s distilling pioneers and the new Sagamore Rye in a way that resonates with today’s audiences.

Tell us about your work with Sagamore Spirit Distillery?
Working with the Sagamore team on the Sagamore Spirit Distillery was one of those milestone projects in a career. The entire team was so passionate about the project and the more stories we uncovered of Maryland’s distilling history, the more our fascination grew. It was an exciting project to work on because in helping to bring the Sagamore Spirit brand to life, not only were we uncovering a forgotten part of Maryland’s past but we were also creating a love story for Maryland that inspires visitors to be a part of the renaissance of Maryland whiskey.

Read the full Q&A with Cynthia Torp Click here.
View the Solid Light Inc. Sagamore Spirit Distillery Project