It’s hard to believe that almost a quarter-century has passed since I created Straight-A and founded LOGIC Inc. I was a college graduate and budding research chemist in 1992 when I discovered a couple things that would change my life. First, I learned that cleaning chemicals could and were being gradually shifted in more environmentally friendly materials. Second, I became a homebrewer.
Both of these things have pretty much determined my path over the past two decades, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
When I started homebrewing I would canvass the local distributors for returnable bottles. Needless to say, many of them were pretty foul because they had been used and re-used and re-used, and I couldn’t find anything on the market at the time that would really clean the insides or remove the existing labels. Combining my vocation with my avocation, I realized I could produce my own product, make it effective and make it environmentally friendly, and that’s how Straight-A was born.
I began mixing the ingredients in a cardboard drum and hand-filling plastic bags for sale after my friends and fellow homebrew club members started clamoring for the product. I reached out to homebrew/home winemaking supply shops in the region and orders started trickling in. When a major national distributor reached out to me, LOGIC Inc. was born. Before I knew it, I was getting orders for 500 pounds instead of five – creating the demand for better manufacturing and distribution facilities as I kept working at my day job and mixing batches at night to meet delivery requirements.
In 1994 I became concerned about the use of toxic iodine-based sanitizers and created One Step as a safer and effective alternative, and it quickly started outselling Straight-A. It remains our most popular product because of the ease of use, its effectiveness, and, at least I like think so, because it is an environmentally friendly alternative to harsher cleansers and sanitizers.
We started contracting the process to a manufacturer in 1996 but found that quality was inconsistent, orders were late and there were often contaminants such as wood chips in the products. In 2004 we found a better manufacturer who worked under my direct supervision and that resolved the existing problems. That same year I accepted a product development position with a global corporation, which allows me to stay on top of industry and product development while conducting my own research, which lets me stay on top of new research, new technology and new products. I’ve been able to adapt that knowledge with reformulations that have helped keep both One Step and Straight-A on the top of the market when it comes to performance.
Today LOGIC Inc. produces One Step – still our sales leader – and Straight-A but we have also been able to branch out into the commercial market with products such as AmBrew and Barrel OxyFresh for craft breweries and professional wineries. As the company has grown, so has my hobby. I make my own wine and cider and I am looking forward to doing some distilling in the very near future.
I am proud of the way the business has evolved and I am proud of the products we produce. But most of all, I am proud to be a homebrewer and home winemaker. I enjoy attending festivals, conferences and tastings and meeting so many people who enjoy our great hobby, and I hope to see you at one of these events soon.
Thanks for your support!