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From Spirits to PPE, Pandemic Pivoting

Toledo Spirits logo

Founded in 2013, Toledo Spirits is a craft distillery that makes premium spirits in a historic warehouse in downtown Toledo, Ohio. Their award-winning spirits are designed with care and made for great cocktails. The company’s mission is focused on a commitment to creating engaging spirits using meaningfully-sourced ingredients. The owners are firm believers in source transparency, and will gladly introduce anyone to the farmers they work with for their grains, fruits, and botanicals. 

Faced with the prospect of being forced to shut down as a non-essential manufacturer in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Toledo Spirits saw an opportunity to not only help their community, but also to continue to support their employees, by being agile and transitioning to the production of PPE hand sanitizer for healthcare and personal use.

Toledo Spirits was so successful in this endeavor, that their demand for low proof ethanol to distill outpaced their ability to ferment themselves. They located a supplier of bulk industrial ethanol, but this supplier’s minimum order requirements were more than Toledo Spirits could process on their own. 

This is where CIFT and the Ohio MEP were able to provide assistance. Utilizing our broad network of craft distillers throughout the state of Ohio, CIFT identified additional distillers who had made the transition to sanitizer production, and connected them with Toledo Spirits. These new partnerships provided the distillery with the ethanol needed for production. Toledo Spirits could now produce at their maximum scale, thus increasing the overall amount of PPE sanitizer available to Ohioans.

Through this project, Toledo Spirits increased and retained sales by $90,000 along with $250,000 in new investments and one new job.

“As a company, it was desirable to continue operations while making an impact during a critical time. Through the information and resources provided by CIFT/Ohio MEP, we were able to transition quickly and efficiently in achieving this goal.” – Andrew Newby, Vice President Operations at Toledo Spirits

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