J.J. Pfister Distilling Company

Sacramento, CA

Watch their story

Their story

Founded in 2016, J.J. Pfister Distilling is a family business run by Gail and Kevin Keck, their son Brian, who is the master distiller, and their niece Michelle, who is the director of operations.

What started as an organic potato vodka distillery has grown to also produce London dry gin, citrus forward gin, rum, rye whiskey, bourbon, apple brandy, and drakas. Supported by two other distillers, Brian works diligently to create premium, organic spirits. That work has paid off, earning the distillery a score of 97 for gin and 95 for vodka from Tasting House.

The company name is an homage to J.J. Pfister, the family’s Swiss ancestor who came to the U.S. in 1869 and built the largest knitting company on the West Coast. His commitment to using the finest supplies to create incredible products is what inspired Gail and Kevin to name their distillery after him.

Life as a small business

When COVID-19 hit, J.J. Pfister Distillery was only three years old. They continued to uphold their philosophy of best ingredients, best quality, and fair price and were able to continue production without laying off any of their team. While they were able to keep the team in place, the pandemic pushed them to produce alcohol-based hand sanitizer instead of their normal spirits.

Now that restaurants are reopening, the team at J.J. Pfister is finding new ways to adjust. The nationwide workforce shortage has impacted their restaurant, but their tenacity and resilience will undoubtedly help them as they tackle this next season of growth and change.

Their advice to other small businesses is to do the research regarding workers’ comp coverage and team up with other small businesses in your community. Working together and supporting one another is vital to your success.

Experience with insurance

Before switching to Pie, J.J. Pfister Distillery had workers’ comp coverage through the State Compensation Insurance Fund in California. They heard about Pie on the radio and saved 30 percent when they switched. “Pie definitely took the time to understand our business,” Michelle shared. “When I’ve needed something [Pie has] been helpful.”

Pie is proud to serve small businesses like J.J. Pfister Distilling Company.

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