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Saturday, July 13, 2024
COVID-19: NOTL businesses start selling their own hand sanitizers

Several NOTL businesses are making their own hand sanitizers to help area residents protect themselves against during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Simpson’s Pharmacy started compounding and selling sanitizers last week.

A 50 ml bottle, made of hydrogen peroxide, water, glycerin and isopropyl alcohol, costs $1.99, while a 100 ml bottle goes for $2.99. There is a limit of one hand sanitizer per person.

Owner Sean Simpson said an opportunity to make sanitizers arose after he was able to source alcohol from the Minor Bros. store. The first batch, with 75 per cent of alcohol, was put up for sale last Wednesday.

“It’s more of a liquid texture but it works,” Simpson told The Lake Report.

“The good news is I think the commercial manufacturers are ramping up their ability to produce sanitizers. So we’re starting to see some of our suppliers notify us that they’re going to have a supply, which is a positive sign. And we also know that other supplies that have been short are starting to come back.”

The pharmacy’s team is constantly working on making new batches, Simpson said, but as they’re running short on raw material and have issues getting bottles, the team may start looking at other formulas.

Residents are also encouraged to make their own sanitizers. By purchasing Nature’s Aid skin gel, they will receive free alcohol from the pharmacy.

“Our community has been very receptive. We’ve got a lot of positive feedback,” Simpson said during a phone interview. “There’s a lot of anxiety out there amongst people throughout the town. Totally understandable given that we live through the pandemic.”

The pharmacy also donated 45 bottles to Newark Neighbours last Friday.

One Old Town business, One Earth, sells a hand sanitizing lotion. Using the store’s traditional sodium lauryl sulfate- and paraben-free lotion base, the team created an anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-microbial lotion with 68 per cent of alcohol in it. Some other ingredients include glycerin, avocado oil, D-Limonene, sweet almond oil, carmober, orange blossom oil and cetyl alcohol.

There are currently 500 ml and 30 ml lotions available for purchase at the store’s online website. 

"When we realized we had the ingredients and the machinery and there was a shortage, we retooled our entire operation to use our traditional lotion base instead of aloe gel and started making (the lotion)," the store's co-founder Terri-Lynn Woodhouse said in an email response. "For first-line folks, we offered it at no cost. We have supplied NOTL businesses, doctors, nurses and police across North America in that manner."

The store offers free porch delivery in Niagara and free worldwide shipping.

Sanitizers are also made by Danny Keyes and Jennifer Miles, who opened Limited Distillery in Virgil last fall. For the first batch, the duo made 700 to 800 bottles of basic, tea tree citrus or lavender sanitizers with 70 per cent of alcohol.

The distillery received 13,000 litres of beer from Bench Brewing Company and is working around the clock to make more sanitizers. The use of high-proof alcohol, such as beer, helps to speed up the process as the alcohol doesn't have to be fermented and can just be distilled, Keyes told The Lake Report.

"It's been difficult opening (the distillery), trying to make brands and products and then all of the sudden switching gears to making hand sanitizers," Keyes said, adding the community's support has been great.

The distillery welcomes donations of alcohol and offers free local delivery on orders over $50.

Beamsville’s Dillon’s Small Batch Distilleries also stepped up to help fight the crisis by providing thousands of sanitizers and alcohol disinfectants to first responders across the province.

If customers make a minimum $2 donation at any of the 13 Magnotta Winery's retail stores, they will receive a complimentary hand sanitizer. All raised funds will go toward local food banks.


Correction: The earlier version of the article incorrectly stated that hand sanitizers could be bought at Magnotta Winery's retail stores. In fact, if customers make a donation of minimum $2, they will receive a complimentary bottle.

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