It’s the end of the world as we know it, but guys, its not the end of the world. And I feel fine.
I’m not that that this virus doesn’t scare me. I’m not numb to the suffering all around me. I’m not saying it isn’t hard as a small business owner to go without a paycheck. It’s crushing to have my favorite festival, the Church Hill Irish Festival, postponed and have 50 half bbls of cider and no bars or festivals to pour them. What a shock to watch so much of the business I’ve worked hard to build evaporate for the foreseeable future. But you know what? Everyone reading this is also reeling and adjusting to how their world has just shifted. I’m focusing on why I know the world is not ending and I feel fine. Humanity isn’t dead and in fact my confidence is being restored.
We did something cool over the last few days. This week our team decided we only had the option to move forward. Our ABC agent, John, and The Alcoholic Beverage Control (I know, they sound like a major buzz kill, but keep listening) took my call and within an hour issued us a license to deliver direct to consumer because they recognized they could be our partners in saving jobs, keeping our business alive, and keeping things going. How cool is that? My incredibly talented brother and sister-in-law whose businesses have been badly hurt by this crisis volunteered to relaunch our website with some amazing tools for offering a delivery option. Customers have been ordering, reaching out to check on us in a show of support. I got to ride with Kevin on our first day of deliveries yesterday. Boy is he rolling with the punches. His first day of work as our new sales rep was going to be Monday. Well starting Monday there was no one to sell to as all of our accounts also scrambled to adjust to this evolving situation. So Kevin and I hit the streets dropping off product. The smiles on people’s faces when they opened the door and saw Kevin and I standing there with cider, it honestly turned into a pretty cool day. Customers told me they ordered because they want there to be small businesses when this is all over. They texted me that the world seemed less bleak having received their delivery. This is what craft cider is all about- Community! Social distancing is very important right now but that makes expressions of normalcy and connection even more important. It feels like the world has paused, but we are moving forward. Stay posted!
Outtake from the R.E.M. song referenced above… Ryan Started the Fire… but he also just juiced the habaneros for our upcoming Habanero Mango Cider, so talk about a hot job in production! If you’re actually reading my blog you now know what the mystery cider is- Elle might kill me for leaking this, but trust me, this one is going to be hot (all puns intended).