Del Papa Distributing, like all local businesses and residents along the Texas Gulf Coast, is no stranger to hurricanes. The 109-year-old company has watched its communities face the devastating effects of hurricanes like Carla and Ike. But Hurricane Harvey, that struck in August, 2017, was like something even our company had never seen before. For the first time, each of our seventeen counties was affected! The wake and waters of Hurricane Harvey left much of our territory under water and facing months of clean up before things returned to “normal.” The ripple effects were felt by Del Papa Distributing as our facilities, our employees, and our retail partners assessed damage. But, as we faced what lied ahead, we saw what we always see when our communities face hardship: the fighting spirit!
While many faced personal devastation with their own homes flooding, our local first responders jumped to action in the wake of the storm to serve those around them. In interviews with these heroes, Kevin, Volunteer Lieutenant for the Dickinson Fire Department and a Del Papa Distributing employee, recounts how he was stranded in League City for thirteen hours. Carolyn of the Beaumont Police Department describes how a new system had to be created to manage the influx of emergency calls that poured through the phone lines. Joel Gomez with the Victoria Fire Department remembers the high call volume in the Victoria region, too.
Local, everyday heroes earned their titles as neighbors and even strangers rushed to help those in need. In moments like this, Del Papa Distributing strives to display the fighting spirit that is so evident in our communities. Distributing emergency drinking water and aiming to be the first wholesaler back to work, we partner with our local retailers to ensure their businesses get up and running as soon as possible. Our retail partner, Martin, the manager at the Speedy Stop in Victoria, notes some of the greatest takeaways from the storm: “that we don’t worry about the small things, and that we take care of each other.” Beer not only brings people together, but the industry, from brewers, to wholesalers, to retailers, sticks together and fights through tough times.
The Texas Gulf Coast is brewed with the fighting spirit. Whatever has come and whatever we will face in the future, we will get through it together as we serve our friends, neighbors, and strangers and take care of each other with the fighting spirit that shows up time and time again. Texas Gulf Coast, it’s an honor to serve you.
As we approach the second anniversary of Hurricane Harvey, Del Papa Distributing wishes to extend humble gratitude to our local heroes and first responders who fight for us every day. We raise our glass to you!