Culture

Black Owned Distillery Pauses Vodka Production To Make Hand Sanitizer In Fight Against COVID-19

Black Owned Distillery Pauses Vodka Production To Make Hand Sanitizer In Fight Against COVID-19

Way to pivot!

Vanessa Braxton, founder of Black Momma Vodka, has shifted her focus from alcohol to hand sanitizer to help slow the spread of COVID-19, Black Enterprise reports.

Braxton started Black Momma Vodka in 2013, opening a manufacturing facility in 2016 that made her the first Black woman distiller, master blender, and operator of a nationally distributed vodka in the country. The Black Momma brand makes teas, flavored agaves, and vodka, making Braxton the owner of one of the only Black owned beverage manufacturing facilities in the world. The company also recently listed on the stock exchange.

Despite the massive success of the brand, Braxton is staying connected to the needs of the community. With the coronavirus pandemic and the national shortage of disinfecting supplies, that need right now looks like hand sanitizer. So Braxton is shifting, using the alcohol she has in stock to produce mass quantities of hand sanitizer for healthcare workers, first responders, patients and community members on the front line fighting this virus. 

“We are changing with the times and we have to be ready to shift how we are serving our community and consumers in the midst of this crisis. If I didn’t own a distillery and manufacturing facility I would not have been able to pivot so quickly from producing vodka to making hand sanitizer. We are ready to evolve and reinvent our business to work with government agencies and hospitals, to protect those on the frontlines,” Braxton said. 

The New York native was previously focused on opening distribution centers for her brand across the country and activating partnerships with over 300 franchisees interested in doing business with her. But for now, she’s just focused on helping the best way she can, remaining grateful that she’s able to help at all.

“In challenging times like these it is important as a business owner who makes products to have control over your manufacturing and equipment. If I didn’t own and operate a distillery, I would not have been able to take the reins in this time of need so quickly,” Braxton said.

Thank you for all you’re doing Vanessa!

Photo Courtesy of WeFunder