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CargoCrew
23 July 2021
Meet Matt Jones, Four Pillars Co-Founder & Brand Director
As part of our We're In This Together interview series, we spoke to other Australian businesses on their journey through COVID-19 and here's what Matt Jones, Four Pillars Co-Founder & Brand Director, has to say.

Matt Jones profile

Tell us about your business in a few sentences.

Four Pillars is a small Australian Gin distillery in the Yarra Valley. They have recently pivoted to included hand sanitiser in their production due to the pandemic, truly thinking outside the box and supporting their community.

What's the best piece of advice you've received during this time?

The best advice for all situations is written on the cover of the Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, ‘Don’t panic’.

At Four Pillars we didn’t panic, but we did get very realistic very fast about the challenges we were facing.

How difficult was it to pivot the business to hand sanitiser?

Cameron and his team at the distillery have always been clever with how they use the by- products of making gin, and have long used the highly-alcoholic heads and tails from each distillation as an in-house cleaning product.

The pivot therefore to using these heads and tails to make a sanitiser to WHO standards wasn’t too unnatural. The challenge was how to scale it, allowing us to make and sell over 20,000 litres in just three weeks.

How are you keeping your staff motivated & positive?

It’s a complete cliché, and totally unoriginal, but communication is everything. By sharing our challenges, ambitions and successes with the team openly and often, we’ve quickly got everyone on the same page and feeling like we’re all in this together. Which we are.

What advice would you give other businesses right now?

Work on the first problem in front of your right now, then move onto the next one. Securing your survival will be your first (and greatest) success.

Give yourself permission to feel anxious and unsure, and take decisions now that buy yourself time to think and act. Remember, this is going to be a marathon, not a sprint.

What’s the positive change you think will come from these times?

The most positive thing for Four Pillars would be for the big chemical manufacturers to step in and fill the sanitiser shortage so we can get back to focusing on our gin.

In terms of long-term changes, let’s just hope we all appreciate more than ever what we will have been denied for some time…the simple joys of hospitality and shared experiences, whether in a great bar or restaurant. Ideally with a Four Pillars G&T in hand.

In the meantime, we’re enjoying this strangest of seasons at home with some gin drinks made using our latest release, Four Pillars Changing Seasons Gin. Grab yourself a bottle and stay home!

Your favourite cocktail right now?

The Autumn cocktail with Changing Seasons Gin. Strong, bold and dangerously delicious, this one will get the taste buds firing.

Ingredients:

Method:

  • Stir in a rocks glass over ice
  • Garnish with an olive and lemon peel
  • Wash your hands & enjoy

Learn more about Four Pillars

You can support Four Pillars by purchasing online from their website or follow them on Instagram at @fourpillarsgin.