When all our friends in the bars and restaurants were forced to close their doors, we thought we were likewise doomed. After three years of being in business, we were on track to finally turn a profit this year. Our products are in retail outlets, sure, but we have focused so much of our efforts on getting all these amazing bartenders to invent new cocktails using our liqueurs and absinthe in their cocktail bars. With all of them out of work, we were out of luck, too.
Then the FDA and the TTB got together and put out the call to distilleries. Hand sanitizer has never been in such high demand, and as distilled spirits permit holders, we are in a unique position to fill in the gap. They made it easier (not easy, but easier) to get registered as an Over the Counter (OTC) drug manufacturer, as long as we adhered to certain guidelines of production and distribution.
That notice went out one day, and the next day we were in Restaurant Depot, seeing how little hand sanitizer there was available for the many food services that were still holding on. If it was that bad for restaurants, then everybody must be hurting. We realized that we not only could, but we really *should* get it together to make the stuff. The World Health Organization’s recommended formula called for the same kind of alcohol that we use as the base for our liqueurs, essentially a high proof vodka. Skip the fancy herbs and juices, and we were most of the way there.
Of course you run into problems, rolling out a product in just five days. We can’t get the kind of pump top bottles that people are used to, so we had do deal with what we could get: plain ol’ milk jugs. The first round of labels were thermal paper stickers that we usually would use for printing shipping labels. Luckily our designer was able to improve upon those significantly, and the next round of bottles that leave the warehouse will do so with her signature style.
To date, we’ve delivered over three tons of product to businesses, clinics, long-term care facilities, hospitals, construction companies, and individuals throughout Central Texas. Thanks to our partnership with Bubb’s Seltzer, we have reached even more people than we thought possible.Sometimes we don’t know who we are delivering to, and it we find out that we helped keep a clinic or a restaurant open.
It heartens us to know that the sanitizer we made is helping people on the front lines of essential care and services. As many orders as we have been processing, we’ve even been able to contract a couple of out-of-work bartenders to help us do deliveries. It’s not much, but it’s something.We feel privileged and obligated to share our good news in these pandemic days. For many of us, it’s not just our jobs but our loved ones we have lost to this terrible pandemic.
Our hearts go out to you all as we navigate these troubled waters. We look forward to having a delicious cocktail together when we can. In the meantime, we’ll be furiously bottling and delivering hand sanitizer as long as the community is in need. If you or someone you know can’t find hand sanitizer, or if you want to send some to a worthy cause, send us a message.Stay healthy, ya filthy animals.