There’s a game I used to play as a teenager—a time when I spent a great many hours wishing for the future to hurry up and get here. It was called “A year ago, and a year from now.”
It’s pretty self-explanatory, but I think I’m not alone in seeing that piece of my past bubble up to the surface, driven by a strong desire to make sense of what’s happened and to see forward through the fog.
If I look to the past through the lens of Reservoir, I’m taken aback at all our company has muscled through. Like so many of you, we shared the same struggles of a great internal restructuring. When the pandemic gripped our communities, we were blinded by the work involved in petitioning for fiscal aid, keeping our employees safe, and the deep desire to help others who faced hardships worse than our own.
Dave Cuttino, CEO and co-owner of Reservoir, presented us with the motto that would carry us through the next eight months: Adapt, Migrate, or Die. And although there was great humor in his words, there were also countless conversations to follow that illuminated how now, more than ever, actions that mattered really mattered.
We all quickly recognized that “busy was not the point, meaningful was the point.” As wretched as our nation’s circumstances were, every one of us was gifted a chance of change. We could review our past actions and drill down to identify whether they were truly contributing something worthy. We had a chance to tell a better story, to reinvent our connections, to create, and to lend a hand.
A year ago I doubt any of us would have foreseen that despite our company’s struggles we would end up where we are today—a place where we’ve expanded our company by hiring new employees, by bringing new products to market, by winning a few coveted awards, and by discovering that our actions brought relief to our community.
Our family has grown, our business has grown, and our impact has grown. But what has increased immeasurably is our gratitude. We’ve found a new headspace where optimism thrives, as there is a self-feeding cycle of possibility when it is driven by positivity.
We are grateful for our new family members, as they bring fresh ideas and new perspectives. We are grateful for our decision to pivot into the world of making hand sanitizer, as it allowed us to offer support, protection, and aid in a time of great need. We are grateful for our customers, as you offer the power of connection, telling us that what we do matters to you.
When we first started Reservoir, we made three single grain whiskies. Corn, wheat, and rye. They stood on their own. They were distinctively unique. And then … we started to play. We invited in possibility. We took those singular flavors and married them with others. We blended spirits of our own and collaborated on projects with people right here at home and far across the seas. We made countless examples of the sum being greater than its parts.
If there is one thing we have learned in the past year, it is that relationships are the glue that hold us all afloat. They are our strength. They are the backbone of survival.
We wish you health, we wish you joy, but mostly, we wish all of you the great blessing of connection this season. Happy Thanksgiving to you all and may the wishbone break in your favor.
~Shelley Sackier - Director of Distillery Education