Sudbury's Crosscut Distillery works to fix sanitizer shortage
SUDBURY -- Amidst a significant shortage of hand sanitizer, a local distillery in Sudbury is utilizing its resources to help fill the void.
Crosscut Distillery, which has had to temporarily close down its cocktail bar and other in-person events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, saw a role it could play in helping provide hand sanitizer to the Sudbury community.
"I think there’s a need for it and it makes sense for us to do it to fill a void for some of the smaller institutions, or people that don’t have access to it," says Shane Prodan, owner of Crosscut Distillery.
"The unfortunate part is there’s no way we could fill the gap that needs to be filled."
In a post on its Facebook page Friday night, the business said it was going to begin providing what it called a 'small but mighty' amount of hand sanitizer.
One-hundred 100ml bottles per person would be made available to the public. The response was overwhelming.
"We made it available for two hours yesterday and went through 100 bottles," said Prodan.
"We can’t keep up with that and the stories are heartbreaking."
Prodan says they start production with 95% alcohol and follow formulations approved by the World Health Organization (WHO).
With such a high demand, Prodan says they may start prioritizing those who need it most.
"We obviously want to supply to those who need it most, who are on the frontlines, so it’s shifting. We don’t know that we’ll be able to keep it for the public at the rate we are going through it but for now we do make it available."
The timing of Prodan’s decision lines up well. On Saturday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford called any businesses that have the ability to help provide much needed supplies, including hand sanitizer, to do so.
"People are scared," said Prodan.
"It’s a good news thing. We’re making something available that people couldn’t get, the stories that come with it are heartbreaking."
Prodan says he wouldn’t be able to do this without support from other community partners, including Old Soul Soap Company, which provided some containers to use.
"It’s just good for everybody," said owner Robin Vienneau.
"It’s good karma, it’s good feels and we need to get the product out there."
Vianet has also come forward to help provide much needed financial assistance to help keep production going.
To respect social distancing practices, people who want a bottle call inside upon arrival. A member of the team then comes out and delivers it to their vehicle.
"I didn’t even know about them before they popped up on my feed but now once all this blows over this is where I’m going to be spending my money," said local resident Melissa.
"It’s going to go right back into our local community and it’s great and it helps out because we have to go do groceries for my mother-in-law and what not so it’s always nice to have that extra stuff."
Prodan says they are looking at ways to scale up production, in order to keep trying to fill this much needed void.