In times of crisis, innovative companies step up, adapt and find ways to assist and contribute to those in need.
Oahu-based Ko‘Olau Distillery shifted operations from producing Old Pali Road Whiskey (a high-quality whiskey) to much-needed hand sanitizer. Able to legally distill alcohol, Ko‘Olau Distillery is able to shift production to creating the base for hand sanitizer — all to be provided to first responders, health workers and essential civil service personnel for free.
As many mainland distilleries began shifting production to creating hand sanitizer base, Ko’Olau Distiller was inspired to do the same.
“We realized that we are in the unique position to be able to help our community in this way; we are able to both make Old Pali Road Whiskey and produce hand sanitizer that meets WHO standards so that we can help our greater ‘Ohana through this unprecedented situation,” said Eric Dill, CEO, Ko‘Olau Distillery.
Dill anticipates providing a product as early as March 25.
Kōkua Sun Care stepped up by donating empty bottles for hand sanitizer creation — a vital part of the process, as nearly 80 percent of all goods consumed by Hawai’i’s residents and visitors are imported, according to the Hawai’i Department of Transportation.
Other companies doing their part (and then some) to contribute include:
- Nancy Silverton in Los Angeles and Chef Ed Lee in Washington, D.C.transformed restaurants (and Hook Hall) into resource centers for hospitality workers in need. Locals can pick up kits, including to-go meals and other essentials like toilet paper, baby diapers, wipes and more
- Restaurants in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., New Orleans and Seattle are all providing food for children who regularly depend on free lunches
- Musang in Seattle and José Andrés’s restaurants are converted to “community kitchens,” partnering with nonprofits to feed locals in need
- Restaurants all across the San Francisco Bay Area, Austin, Seattle, New York and Washington, D.C. are providing food to first responders, including emergency medical professionals, non-profits and firefighters.
- Over in Orange County, California, a barbecue spot made 1,500 free meals for unemployed restaurant workers, available via drive-thru
- Jojo food truck in Portland gave away free food
- Liquor distilleries across the country shifted high-proof alcohol production to develop sanitizing solution
This is just a small representation of the many companies lending a hand to support their communities and give back to those who need it most.
Another brick-and-mortar business seeing setbacks from the COVID-19 global pandemic shifts gears and joins the fight. Louisville leather shop Clayton & Crume, known for handcrafted leather goods, including belts, wallets, bags and more, is turning its production facility into a manufacturing headquarters to produce 500,000 pieces of medical personal protective equipment.
Using expertise in manufacturing, design and quality production, Clayton & Crume jumped into action in creating face shields for medical workers on the front line, locally and across the country.
Upon hearing about the critical shortage of PPE devices across the country, co-owner Tyler Jury, also a Louisville dentist, was inspired by the safety mask he used during dental school. Alongside fraternity brother and co-owner Clay Simpson, the pair created a prototype for a face shield with a plastic cover, thick foam forehead strip and an elastic strap to protect medical professionals.
The initial goal to make 1,000 by the end of the week for Louisville hospitals and immediate care centers was, within 24 hours, followed by a call from Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear’s office, asking for more.
“We’re eager to put our skills to use in the fight against COVID-19 and to help play a small role in keeping the state we love safe,” said Clay Simpson, co-owner, Clayton & Crume. “Clayton & Crume began with a mission to make leather goods that last. While we anxiously wait for life to return to ‘normal,’ we are responding to the challenge that lies ahead with that same spirit and intention — to create by hand what is tested and lasting.”
As the largest food and beverage provider for New York City’s hotels and an on-demand platform for room service, Butler Hospitality shifts gears and joins the fight against COVID-19.
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