Kinney Drugs, Clayton Distillery to supply 6,000 hand sanitizers to stores

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Kinney Drugs, Clayton Distillery to supply 6,000 hand sanitizers to stores

By Sandra Levy - 04/03/2020

Six thousand bottles of liquid hand sanitizer will soon be available at Kinney Drugs stores, thanks to Clayton Distillery based in Clayton, N,Y.

“Globally, hand sanitizer is in high demand and extremely short supply right now. We were very happy to partner with another local business to source this product, which is essential to provide protection to our employees and customers and help stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Rick Cognetti, Kinney’s vice president of merchandising, marketing and retail operations.

Cognetti reached out to the distillery on a tip from a “friend of a friend” who knew distillery owner Mike Aubertine.

“I was very excited that such a well-known and respected organization reached out to me,” said Aubertine. “It’s a classic North Country story, really. Rich McNulty, Kinney’s vice president of Human Resources, is also friends with a friend of mine," Aubertine said. "When my friend heard we were making hand sanitizer, he mentioned it to Rich, who mentioned it to Rick, who called me about a week ago. We’re delivering 3,000 bottles to Kinney today and another 3,000 bottles next week.”

Producing hand sanitizer has helped the family-owned distillery keep people employed at a time when so many other businesses have had to reduce their hours or shutter altogether.

“This season is typically pretty quiet for us. Right now, we’ve got a crew of ten bottling sanitizer and another four full-time people handling the administrative tasks such as taking orders, billing and shipping. We didn’t even start making hand sanitizer until March 19 and now we’re producing 150+ gallons per day,” said Aubertine.

The distillery's 5-gal. pails are going to hospitals, health care facilities, and other commercial applications, and the smaller bottles are going to retailers like Kinney Drugs. “The whole family has been working 16-hour days. It’s exhausting, but it’s satisfying to know that under these terrible circumstances, Clayton Distillery is doing our own small part to help," Aubertine said.

Kinney Drugs will have the Clayton Distillery 8.0 fl. oz. liquid hand sanitizer in stock at all stores by April 6, priced at $5.99 per bottle.