East Road Beverages (ERB) is female owned and operated small batch craft licensed distillery. The FIRST Black Woman owned and operated licensed distillery in the state of Maryland.
Established in 2010, ERB was started by Dr. K, a Jamaican born immigrant who immigrated to the USA as a child. Named for the location in Jamaican where her parents and grandparents once resided, East Road is located in Kingston, Jamaica.
Making her signature cocktail, Rum Punch, at home for loved ones and as a gift during the holidays, she eventually began taking it to parties. When her Jamaican Rum Punch became a hit at parties, she was approached on numerous occasions to sell directly to individuals. So, she decided to make it available in stores. After numerous trips to liquor stores and testing other ready-to-drink cocktails, she knew she could make better products. During the development phase, she thought, “I get to taste alcohol all day, tough job but someone’s got to do it.” The business was no longer just a hobby at this point and the brand, Jamaica’s Finest Cocktails & Mixes was born.
Unsatisfied with copackers, a number of years ago, she began manufacturing and bottling onsite. “I wanted to be able to tweak the formula quickly and ensure that only quality ingredients were being used.”
Realizing that education would be her way out of poverty, Dr. K. holds a doctoral degree in Computers and a MBA and has worked in IT and Cyber Security for large companies, nonprofits, and the government and held positions such as director, vice president, and management official.
East Road Beverages is a Social Organization with a focus on Serving the Community:
Autism Training and Employment Program – A high number of autistic adults are unemployed and many will never have gainful employment. The that end, ERB trains and employs autistic individuals from underserved communities. Skills and experience gained during training will allow individuals to gain permanent employment with us or transfer skills into other industries. Skills include all phases of beverage manufacturing and packaging, marketing, business skills, interviewing, and resume writing.
Autistic Business Owner Mentoring – ERB mentors and also does business with autistic business owners who make up a portion of our suppliers list.
Prison Reform – Supports organizations focused on eliminating the school to prison pipeline and reducing recidivism.
Community Donations – ERB manufactures and donates hundreds of gallons of Hand Sanitizer to community-based organizations, hospitals, medical facilities, and senior facilities.