An Exchange of One Type of Spirit for Another
As many of you know, I grew up in Roxbury, CT - a small town in Litchfield County, where home is far more than a place you visit over the holidays. It’s a sense of belonging immediately triggered by the smell of the humid summer’s fresh-cut morning grass or the cool breeze bringing the famous fall foliage into the area. It’s a smile naturally brought to the face of every native when they pull up to the intersection in front of Maple Bank Farm prior to entering the town center.
Because of its zoning laws that help preserve the one-of-a-kind town Roxbury is known to be, the community looks to many of its neighboring towns for things Roxbury simply legally cannot offer. Litchfield, CT is one of these towns - located about 15 miles north-east of my hometown, inclusive of date-night worthy restaurants, a supermarket, and in particular, a family-run distillery that is making this time count by exchanging one type of spirit for another.
When my novel newsletter announcement came out a few weeks back, my god-mother who is still connected to this community suggested I reach out to the distillery to learn more about their efforts in being part of the solution in this pandemic.
Caring at The Core of The Company
While it’s not uncommon for manufacturers to repurpose their resources to make hand sanitizer these days, Litchfield Distillery is taking it one step further. Due to the increase in demand, and lack of supply, this family-owned and operated distillery offers its hand sanitizer without any expected transaction. Accompanying the hand sanitizer at the entrance of the north-west Connecticut operation is a donation box for the Torrington Food Bank - in another neighboring town that complements other communities in this small, but mighty region. So mighty, in fact, the spirit-driven operation has raised over $20,000 from goodwill with another $10,000 in anticipation between now and Memorial Day. It’s important to mention that local farms have also donated a few tons of free corn for the distillery to turn into raw materials contributing to this cause too.
As many understand, the restaurant and bar business is a 24/7 job. Peter agreed to feel tired, but also admitted to feeling uplifted. He said,“When the day is done, we know we’re doing the right thing, hopefully, we saved someone from getting sick and that lifts our spirits.”
With such caring values built into the core of this business, I was curious to know what the brothers missed most about operating at one hundred percent.
Peter responded by saying, “My two brothers Jack & David were the ones who got this up and running. My job was to build a brand. We were geared up for the season with new canned cocktails, but that obviously didn’t happen. I had real excitement, I was looking forward to making this a bigger growth year for us.” He humbly concluded by saying, “But, we’ll come back and enjoy these efforts and cocktails at later date.”
In uncertain times, it is stories like this that keep us moving forward. Often when times are smooth, we look to things we often take for granted, such as the nourishing food on the dinner table, going into the office, or an afternoon jog - but now, those privileges seem petty. You can eat as healthy as possible, exercise as time allows, but if community is lacking, how do you find your way out of adversity-driven times?
The family behind the operations at Litchfield Distillery exemplifies how working together, repurposing current resources, and asking for support towards the greater cause of those who can will help us all find belonging on the other side of this pandemic. Thank you Litchfield Distillery for the fruitful conversation, and giving back to a community that is so much more than home to me.
Lastly, Peter emphasized the importance of supporting local restaurants when they reopen, wherever home is to you. It is clear how much love Peter and his brothers have poured into their business, and as a native to Litchfield County, I know first hand they are not alone.
If you care to donate to Torrington Food Bank, visit them here: https://www.fishnwct.org/donate.html