Although Hella Cocktail Co. faced struggles in the early stages of business, the COVID-19 pandemic brought on a whole new wave of challenges. As many businesses in the food, beverage and hospitality industries closed during the pandemic, they lost much of the business they spent so long building up. Instead of shutting down Hella Cocktail, the co-founders used their knowledge, experience, and communities to their advantage to successfully make it through and even help out others along the way.
Here are some strategies they used to get through the pandemic:
They adapted to meet consumer needs. Pinkard said he and his business partners have always been very communicative with their customers and aware of national buying behaviors (i.e., how, why and where they like to enjoy Hella products). They used this knowledge to pivot their business model during the pandemic.
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“Because we’ve always been in contact with our consumers, we realized that during the pandemic, people would still want to imbibe, but where and how they chose to buy our products might change,” Pinkard said. “We were able to meet our consumers at their new shopping destinations – online and their local retail grocery store.”
They found new ways to fulfill their higher purpose. The Hella Cocktail crew has always placed a high priority on giving back to their community in order to mirror their individual purposes through business. For example, they initiated culinary education programs for urban youth, sponsored Parkinson’s disease events, donated products for auctions, participated in community services initiatives, and sponsored many culinary, health and wellness programs.
Pinkard said that, during the pandemic, and even more so during the Black Lives Matter movement’s resurgence, the opportunity for Hella Cocktail to find its larger business purpose came full circle.