CANISTEO, NY (WETM) – Hand sanitizer, the product that flew off the shelves as the coronavirus pandemic swept the globe. Kevin Collins, co-owner of Cider Creek Hard Cider found a solution that could help his community.
“I was looking at some of my barrels over there I was like, you know what, this would be better served if we turn it into hand sanitizer,” Collins said.
Collins went to social media to see if anyone would be interested in joining his cause and that’s when he grabbed the attention of Justin Recktenwald, owner of Wild Brute Winery.
“I saw that Kevin put out a post looking for donations of bottles of wine to distill and turn into hand sanitizer,” Recktenwald said. “I always have some different little projects going and we had a tank, about four barrels, so that is a little over 1000-liters and we were like it’s going to be better suited for doing something like this.”
After Collins and Recktenwald partnered up they reached out to Carlton Reeves, owner or Krooked Tusker Distillery.
“They asked me to participate which was perfect, I had been looking for a way to get involved,” Reeves said.
They are selling their products on a priority basis knowing that there are people in the area who are at much higher risk of either catching the virus or are more vulnerable if they do come down with COVID-19.
“Our immediate focus is our local community, we really want to focus on the people who need it the most, so the hospitals, the first responders, the elderly care facilities, people with autoimmune diseases and of course those essential businesses that are forced to, not forced but are staying open during this time,” Collins explained.
For them, this is not a way to make money, but an act of service to the people.
“They are going for $6 and that is just going to cover our costs so we are not making any profit,” Collins said.
“This feels really good, you go into this thing and this is bigger than us and it is a small contribution,” Reeves shared.
“It makes me at least feel good because I know we are giving back to our community the best we possibly can,” Collins said.
“To be apart of something like this is huge for me,” Recktenwald said.
This pop-up hand sanitizer collaboration is the only temporary.
“We are only allowed to make this while the emergency is in place for the FDA so once that is lifted we will be back to making hard cider,” said Collins.