As the United States passed the one-year mark of the COVID-19 pandemic, Textile Brewing Company founder and co-owner Carol Miller believes taking early warning signs about the pandemic seriously helped the brewery navigate through the past year.
And while that meant doing things differently, those adjustments helped both the business and its customers.
“When those first stories started coming in January, about cruise ships trying to dock and not being able to, I knew it was going to be bad,” Miller said.
It was shortly after those early reports that the brewery purchased a canning machine, adding another way for customers to take Textile Brewery beers home with them. The brewery also added take-out and to-go sales and put their entire menu online.
“We made accommodations, but we never closed,” Miller said. “From January I knew that carry out and curbside sales would be instrumental. It allowed us to remain open seven days a week. We were ready, but I attribute that to the fact we took the news of the pandemic seriously from those first reports.”
Miller said she is grateful for the support Dyersville has shown the brewery all the time, but especially during the pandemic. “The community has always been supportive, but they continued to show up. They came and bought beer and pretzels. We wouldn’t have survived if our community hadn’t done carry out and curbside.”
She said she saw that same community support for other businesses that adapted their business models to curbside and carry out. “I think the community loved that. People miss going out. After the first couple months, people were going stir crazy and appreciated having places to go, even if it was for carry out.”
Textile Brewing looked after their employees as well. Utilizing the Payroll Protection Program, they not only retained all of their employees but gave them a raise as well.
Miller said the lesson for others is to not give up. “You need to be tenacious. I’m pretty forward-thinking and stubborn and headstrong. We just refused to let this slow us down. Getting the canning machine was epic. I think our consistency, as well as being prepared and thinking ahead helped us survive as well as we did.”
Miller recognized several women in the Dyersville community who are also running businesses and organizations. “There are strong women in Dyersville. I look at women like Jacque Rahe, Karla Thompson, Tricia Maiers, Jennifer Recker, Ashley Cosselman, Becca Miller, Amanda Funke, Heidi Huisman, Judy Weber, Mary Ungs-Sogaard and Shirley Vonderhaar. This town rocks with women. Everywhere I go in Dyersville, it’s women who run this town. It’s so nice and empowering and a great message and example for the next generation as long as it’s pointed out.”
It’s another reason Miller feels the way she does about Dyersville, saying, “I love it here.”