Heaven Hill Launches Spirited Neighbor Initiative


July 14, 2023

Heaven Hill Spirited Neighbor Initiative logo

Heaven Hill Brands detailed plans today to invest $800,000 in the California neighborhood in West Louisville, where the company operates the Bernheim Distillery at 1701 W. Breckenridge Street. The plan is called the “Spirited Neighbor Initiative.”

The initiative consists of long-term investments in non-profit partnerships and public organizations that support the community in areas of education, mental health and economic development, and more broadly across a number of critical areas.

“Heaven Hill is committed to being the best neighbor we can in the communities where we work and live, and Louisville’s California neighborhood has been our distilling home for nearly 25 years,” Allan Latts, co-president of Heaven Hill Brands, said. “We’re working with some key organizations that make up the fabric of the West End community to support a sustainable, thriving California neighborhood now and for future generations.”

Heaven Hill Brands is implementing a five-year $500,000 investment with local non-profit organizations as part of the Spirited Neighbor Initiative. Funds will be allocated to a select number of community organizations that apply for assistance through Heaven Hill’s new formalized grant program, in addition to the following long-term partners:

  • Change Today Change Tomorrow, which provides services devoted to eradicating the barriers to food justice and public health that plague Louisville’s Black and other marginalized communities;
  • Neighborhood House, which provides opportunities ranging from child development to senior programming for families in West Louisville;
  • AMPED, which provides music education, business services and technology workforce training to create self-sufficiency, economic mobility and equity among the city’s Black and brown communities;
  • Louisville Central Community Center, which provides programs ranging from early childhood education to adult job training and money management to advance equity among Louisville’s West End families; and
  • West End School, which provides a rigorous education, character development and family support to pre-K through 8th grade boys, and offers housing to alumni who attend area high schools.

“It’s critical that our efforts as a Spirited Neighbor are designed to address each community’s specific needs,” said Kate Latts, co-president of Heaven Hill Brands. “Initiatives to support education, mental health and economic development are three critical areas where we believe our assistance will be the most impactful.”

The company conducted surveys of employees and neighbors and engaged in community discussions to develop the plan.

“The passion that my dad, Max Shapira, has for the business quickly became ingrained in me, and this includes valuing and supporting the communities in which you operate your business,” she said.

Heaven Hill Brands is also taking steps to enhance the infrastructure of the California neighborhood, including granting $250,000 to Louisville MSD to support sewer system improvements. MSD has identified a number of catch basins in the area that were not built with traps that are essential to preventing sewer odors from escaping. Heaven Hill’s grant will allow MSD to replace many of those with new, trapped catch basins and address many of the identified concerns.

“Heaven Hill has been an important corporate citizen to this community and we greatly appreciate their partnering with us in this work,” said Tony Parrott, MSD executive director. “MSD’s ongoing efforts to minimize sewer odors across Louisville have resulted in investing $16.5 million in West Louisville alone to rehabilitate the sewer line under Maple Street and replace catch basins. As we continuously balance our budget against the needs of maintaining our wastewater, stormwater and flood-protection system across the community, the Heaven Hill grant will allow us to replace even more catch basins here in the California neighborhood.”

Additionally, the company is demolishing an unused building on the Bernheim Distillery property, beginning in August, to make way for future enhancements to the production process. They are also establishing concurrent ‘beautification’ efforts which include a $50,000 investment to plant new trees and shrubs along the roadway and at Perry Elementary, in partnership with Metro Parks.

For more information on Heaven Hill’s Spirited Neighbor Initiative, visit spiritedneighbor.com.