MEDINA, Ohio — Despite a rocky start, BKO Distillery in Medina adapted during the pandemic and is thriving now as things return to normal.
Founded by Brad Kochmit and Ken Obloy, BKO Distillery opened its doors on Feb. 20, 2020. A few weeks later, the COVID-19 pandemic hit Ohio and the state shut down.
"You have our grand opening. Get all excited. A bunch of people come through and then a couple of weeks later, the entire world starts shutting down," Obloy said.
With plenty of alcohol in stock, BKO Distillery decided to adapt to the times and began making sanitzer during the pandemic.
"When people started needing sanitizer and stuff, it was just a natural process," Kochmit said. "We gave away fourteen thousand bottles of sanitizer during the pandemic."
Now that things are beginning to get back to normal, BKO Distillery is shifting away from making sanitizer and is back to doing what it does best—making vodka.
And as Kochmit and Obloy return to business as usual, things are looking up for BKO Distillery.
"We're expanding. We're buying new equipment. We're putting on more capacity. And we've really just been blessed to have a genuine, awesome response from the area and the surrounding community," Obloy said.
BKO Distillery is located at 1486 Medina Road #215 in Medina.
Watch the full story from News 5 photojournalist Dave Colabine in the player above.
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