Launching A New Business in A Pandemic
The journey to launching the Pinter was always going to be a challenge: one that, as a small business, we always navigated with enthusiasm. The energy in October 2019 was positive and the team was full of momentum. We’d just taken up a new home at a facility in Walthamstow, having moved out of our tiny box office (hot in the summer, cold in the winter but a decent coffee shop downstairs) in Whitechapel.
The end was (kind of) in sight for the Pinter’s launch, and we felt proud about what we’d created together: a product which meant that, for the first time in history, incredible quality Fresh Beer could be brewed at home.
Hurdles were inevitable and frequent, but we knew that was all part of being ambitious and breaking new ground. What we would have far less control over was something else on the horizon.
We were still in the later stages of product development, operational readiness and website development when COVID-19 hit. The timing also meant we were mid-lockdown when we were putting the finishing touches to everything in between. Office staff were split up and working from home, the warehouse operation (by this point around 10 people) was splintered, and stopped entirely at times.
The impact of the pandemic on the world is obviously difficult to fully quantify; the impact it’s had on us launching a business in the midst of it was no exception. Fast forward 12 or so months and the challenges remain. However we have grown from 7 to well over 100 people, launched the product, moved to yet another facility, attracted some incredible new talent to the team and built a base of customers we feel genuinely connected to.
Interest in the Pinter has been amazing and we are so thankful for the support, but this demand means we’ve had to adapt and transform from small business to larger scale operation.
We know everyone has had it rough throughout the turmoil caused by the pandemic and by Brexit. The team has been incredible during this transition and has readily adapted to every challenge we’ve been faced with. We’ve had to constantly adapt to changes in working from home, with staff coming in on weekends to get orders out to you as soon as we can.
We have suppliers around the world: as you’d expect, due to having bespoke designs, there are only certain manufacturers that can provide parts we need for the Pinter. We have been navigating repeated last-minute delays from key suppliers, which can be exceptionally challenging with first the delays from the pandemic, and then Brexit.
Our operations team has been working around the clock to quickly respond to the increase in demand/challenges to keep things on track where possible.
Impact on our Employees
COVID-19 has seen us having reduced staff for stretches of time, with whole teams impacted by self-isolation or positive tests; something we’re sure many businesses can relate to. However, working from home for a lot of the team isn’t an option. Our company simply has to operate from our warehouse; however, the delays caused by our reduced staff have contributed to extended delivery times.
The people from the small team that started this are now running full departments of their own and the incredible talent we’ve managed to bring in is nothing short of remarkable.
Key Workers For The Economy
Key workers have been vital in ensuring that the country can continue to run safely and effectively. This extends beyond the incredible frontline workers and NHS staff to those who have roles which cannot be completed remotely.
Our warehouse staff are regularly tested so that every Pinter is assembled and packed as safely as possible, and we can only thank them for continuing to work despite the risk to themselves and their families.
However, we want our customers to know we’re implementing a safe work environment for our employees and searching for solutions to the barriers put up by the pandemic. We are committed to our customers, committed to improving as a business in all areas and committed to building a world of Fresh Beer for all.
We just wanted to say thank you to all our customers for the support. We couldn’t do it without you.