In 2017 co-owners Lauren Chapman and Blaire Chapman relocated to Hawaii and began operating Lubrco LLC, an industrial lubricant, oil and grease manufacturing business, which later made a company pivot in 2020. Lubrco moved in a new direction as the company started developing, manufacturing and packaging disinfectants and cleaning solutions for the state of Hawaii and local businesses in response to COVID- 19. Today, their cleaning solutions are available to all the islands of Hawaii, Pacific Rim, and North America.
In early 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic began to change all aspects of business and life. Up until this time Lubrco had run a successful business manufacturing lubricants, oils, and greases. However, the pandemic made the company shift focus and pivot into a new area of manufacturing - cleaning supplies - but Hawaii’s supply chain was strained by manufacturing and shipping delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the state needed products that could be used in a range of settings. Lubrco’s management knew that with their experience, knowledge, and facility they could pivot into cleaning supplies to help bridge the gap and meet the ever-increasing product need; however, they needed guidance and funding to make this change possible.
I highly recommend Innovate Hawaii to all local manufacturers. They have been able to support our business in a myriad of ways—from grant funding application assistance to local networking. They have extensive knowledge of the local manufacturing landscape and connections with a range of business professionals to help our business grow. Their team is always available, eager to help and extremely responsive to our questions. One of the most valuable things we have found is the network that surrounds you as you work in partnership with others in the manufacturing and growth space. The team at Lubrco is grateful to be a part of the HTDC - Innovate Hawaii ecosystem. We would not be here if it were not for their partnership!
In 2020, the State of Hawaii was awarded federal funding to support emergency efforts related to COVID-19. With the assistance of Innovate Hawaii, part of the MEP National Network™, Lubrco was able to obtain grant funding through the PPE Supply Chain Program Grant to expand their manufacturing footprint to quickly help the strained supply chain. The PPE Supply Chain Program Grant awarded companies grants up to $500,000 to help establish a local supply chain of cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Lubrco was awarded funding which allowed management to purchase new machinery, office and warehouse space and eventually expand to into local raw material distilling. The quick company pivot meant that they could now offer top of the line cleaning supplies direct to the state of Hawaii and local businesses. Recently, the company also expanded their distribution network to consumers through online partnerships and is a vendor for Office Depot and their B2B offerings.