Why Small Businesses Matter
Shop small, do big things for your community
Why Small Businesses Matter puts a spotlight on the local merchants who donate their time, talent, goods, and services for the betterment of our community. The shop local movement spreads virally as local businesses who are “tagged” have the opportunity to share their story!
You're IT Fifth State Distillery!
Four questions with Bridget Schulten, founder of Fifth State Distillery.
Why did you start your business?
We started Fifth State Distillery in 2014 and opened to the public in 2016 offering Gin, Vodka, and Whiskey made with Connecticut sourced Non-GMO corn. Rob Schulten, Master Distiller, is co-owner with his wife Bridget. Rob is a Chemical Engineer and spent many years with GE in Bridgeport and Fairfield. His long-time hobby and interest in spirits and flavors led him to pursue his passion.
What is your best-selling product/service?
Our top-selling product is our Award Winning Gin!! Fifth State Gin is made with a balanced blend of select botanicals including juniper, coriander, cinnamon quill, angelica root, lemon peel, and green pod cardamom. The botanicals are vapor-infused and delicately combined with spirits that we distill from Connecticut corn. Our Gin is Truly Local and Made in Bridgeport, Connecticut! We have two other products which are top sellers; our Ginger Zap Vodka and CT Maple Whiskey. Our products are all corn and all are gluten-free.
How many local businesses do you use to support your business (products and services) and can you name them?
We support other Businesses: Pleasant View Farms in Somers, CT grows the Non-GMO corn that we use in our spirits. We-Lik-It Farms in Abington, CT produces the Maple Syrup we use from local trees. We are very proud to support Connecticut farmers in our business. We sell our products in 300 Connecticut Stores and 30 local restaurants so we are adding local products for local businesses to sell and profit.
Have you "reimagined" your small business?
We re-imagined our business in 2020 during the Covid 19 Pandemic. With the closing of restaurants, bars, clubs and limited access to liquor stores, our sales fell. Since we produce ethanol on a daily basis for our spirits, we began production in mid-March 2020 to make hand sanitizer for any business or person who needed it. We were approved to manufacture by the FDA and continue to make and sell this product today. We supplied hand sanitizer to the United States Postal Service in the entire state of Connecticut for over a year.
Bridget and FIfth State Distillery nominate Mark Rolland from Mark’s Art.
HamletHub thanks Fairfield County Bank for making our Why Small Businesses Matter series possible!