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In Early March 2020, ST. ALi was a successful and pioneering coffee company, roasting beans for a thriving wholesale business and running retail outlets in Melbourne and Sydney, based out of our legacy South Melbourne cafe.

In the space of one week, our wholesale business was hit hard, we packed up the chairs in our cafes, pivoted to thoughtful provisions in our newly created General Store, and sat in the laneway staring at a looming existential threat to our company.

At ST. ALi we’ve always prided ourselves on our ability to be agile, move fast, and innovate. And in one conversation with our friends at HydroChem—a water treatment company with a lot of experience with chemicals—we made the decision to pivot.
Within days (and with plenty of hustling, tears, late nights, and little sleep!) we sourced the raw materials and retooled our operations to manufacture, bottle, and ship hand sanitiser at scale.

This has let us hold onto a core group of staff and keep them employed over this turbulent period, and into the foreseeable future. We’ve been able to continue roasting coffee and serving up takeaway coffees to keep our locals and online customers fully supplied and caffeinated.

But most importantly we’ve been able to supply the general public an essential product in protecting themselves and their loved ones during a global pandemic.