Hook & Flask Still Works

Shippensburg University SBDC Client Success Story
Not Since Prohibition

Devin Flickinger and Mark Farrell, owners of the Hook and Flask Still Works wanted to capitalize on the growth of the craft spirits industry by starting their own distillery. Mark, a technology sales professional and Devin, a paramedic are supported in accomplishing their dream by their incredible wives and children. Mark and Devin met 14 years ago as volunteer fireman and became friends instantly. They were excited by the idea of being the first distillery in Carlisle since the time of prohibition.

“We can’t say enough good things about Robin and the help she gave our start.”

The pair began by researching the industry and when it came time to develop their business plan they reached out to the Shippensburg University SBDC. Robin Burtner, Business Consultant with the
Shippensburg University SBDC worked with Devin and Mark through the entire process. “Robin was extremely instrumental in helping us with our business plan,” according to Devin. Upon securing a location, and with financing from a SBA loan, they were able to identify the equipment and supplies they would need for the business. Robin introduced Mark and Devin to local contacts and resources and continues to check in with them to this day.

Devin is the distiller and handles that end of the business, while Mark manages the operations of the business including the front of the house and outside sales. They are celebrating their one year anniversary of opening their doors and are hoping to be fully employed by the business soon.

The Hook and Flask Still Works has faced challenges during their first year, most notably the unforeseen impact caused by COVID–19. True to their mission of serving the community and honoring all firefighter and emergency service personnel, they made a change to produce hand sanitizer and distribute it for free to their local police departments, fire houses, Emergency Responders, medical offices and nursing homes during the first few months of the pandemic. Once other local businesses began to reopen again, they distributed to them as well.

To remain viable as a business, Mark and Devin offered delivery and takeout service during the stay at home order. With limited seating due to COVID-19 there continues to be a gap in sales for the business and COVID-19 has limited their plans for expansion, but the partners remain optimistic. As Mark said “we continue to adjust and plan for the future.” Stop by the Hook and Flask Still Works and raise a glass in support and honor of these courageous spirits!

Hook & Flask Still Works