Craft Distillery Produces Disinfectant Spray
Central Standard creates product to help in pandemic, offered free to all who need it.
The COVID-19 pandemic may have put a halt on revenue streams for many small businesses around Milwaukee, but that hasn’t stopped some of them from continuing to give back to the community in thoughtful and creative ways.
Take Central Standard Craft Distillery for example. After receiving incoming calls from an assisted living organization in need of disinfectant to clean surfaces, Co-Founder and CEO Evan Hughes sat down with his business partner Pat McQuillan and began discussing how they could help. With plenty of high-proof alcohol already on hand, it seemed the obvious solution would be to craft a disinfectant of their own.
“When we founded this business, we wanted to support our community and be as helpful as possible, so this was an easy solution for us,” Hughes says.
By following a recipe provided by the CDC that calls for alcohol with a proof level of 140, Central Standard produced an initial run of 1,000 bottles of disinfectant. Packaging needs were then covered by some of the company’s supply partners. WB Bottle Supply Co. provided the bottles required at no cost. Central Standard’s marketing team collaborated on a label with Alpha Graphics, and the bottles were packaged in cardboard cases donated by SoulBoxer Cocktail Co.
“The support we received from our partners was incredible,” Hughes says. “A lot of people want to help and whenever it turns to crisis, it’s the individual businesses that start to come together for the greater good.”
“I cannot believe how many people are in need, it’s absolutely crazy,” Hughes says. “We really thought it was going to be some small mom-and-pop facilities, but it goes all the way up to very large non-profits, homeless shelters, food banks, first responders — it’s pretty incredible the need that’s out there right now.”
Currently the craft distillery is offering its home-brewed disinfectant at no cost. Hughes notes that there are no current plans for that to change, but if demand is high enough and if closures from the pandemic are extended, it might be necessary to put a price on the product to keep the business afloat. Hughes notes that continuing to produce the disinfectant post-pandemic isn’t necessarily out of the question, but isn’t under discussion.
“We’re trying to keep up the best we can with our revenue streams having been shut down, so we’ll keep doing it for free as long as we can,” Hughes says. “This was not something that we thought of as beneficial for the future of our business, it was just a great idea to support those at high risk and that’s where our attention is still focused.”
Like many other businesses, Central Standard has asked most of its employees to either stay home or work from home, including 70 percent of the employees that work in the company’s office. Hughes stresses the importance of supporting local businesses during this time.
“It’s very difficult right now and it’s impossible to plan for the future and to know what tomorrow will look like,” Hughes says. “We need your support — large national and international businesses will be fine, but we need to keep our money here at home. Look for those that are trying to make a positive impact on those around them during this difficult time.”
For organizations interested in contacting Central Standard about acquiring its disinfectant spray, call 414-455-8870.
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