As America emerges from 14 months of uncertainty, lockdowns and business closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gillies Coffee is living proof of the power of resilience. After 180 years, America’s oldest coffee merchants were facing unprecedented challenges due to the sudden closure of the hotels, restaurants and other merchants that make up much of its customer base. But as President Donald Schoenholt stated, “We’re a business that never, ever gives up”.
Schoenholt—along with David Chabbott, VP Sales and Marketing—credits the business’s longevity to the mutually-beneficial support between small, family-run enterprises like Gillies, and a fiercely loyal local community in Brooklyn, NY. “Gillies has always been a business that serves the down-the-street customer,” says Chabbott. Furthermore, the HSCBC value of “We Take Responsibility” has been core for small businesses like Gillies as well. “As business operators, we have responsibilities to our community, our neighbours, our employees, [and] our institutions.”