‘We’re expecting it to get even worse’: Supply chain shortage hurts local distillery


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The pandemic continues to disrupt many aspects of our global supply chain – hurting local businesses. One business owner says running his distillery has turned into a guessing game, trying to calculate how far in advance he has to order supplies. 

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Safe House Distilling Company opened in 2019 which left the business little time to establish itself before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. “Everyone really struggled with the pandemic and just given the fact that we’re a very small business, we were definitely one of them,” said Michelle Tabrizian, business and brand development director for Safe House Distilling Co.

Things aren’t getting any easier. The global supply chain shortage is taking a big hit on many distilleries, breweries and wineries. 

“Most of our suppliers for anything we’re trying to order now, they say nine-month lead time minimum,” said Chris Leurig, the co-founder of Safe House Distilling Co.

Leurig says it’s hard to get his hands on things like cardboard boxes, plastic cups, pint glasses and even corks. “If we have no corks, we have no bottles, we have nothing we can sell so even something like that destroys everything that we’re doing,” Leurig said. 

Business owners are going to extra lengths to make sure they have enough supply by stocking up. “We’re expecting it to get even worse so we’re trying to preplan even more and try to purchase more stuff and backlog some stuff so we don’t run out of bottles and everything,” said Leurig.

However, pre-ordering supplies are putting an extra financial strain on small businesses and are limiting what some can offer. “People don’t really understand shortages, they don’t really understand you know having empty shelves and for us, if anything it just takes a lot more preplanning,” Tabrizian says. 

On top of supply issues, trying to find employees remains a challenge. Local businesses are asking people to be patient during these times. “Just be understanding that if something is changing it’s not their choice and still support them for doing what they can,” Leurig said.

To prepare for the holiday season Safe House Distilling Co. started ordering supplies back in July. The co-founder of Safe House says a lot of space at the distillery is now used for storage.

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