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Ogden’s Own Distillery is known for poking fun at the state’s history with spirits like Five Wives Vodka and Porter’s Whiskey.
But soon it will offer a line of protection to Utah residents, stores and hospitals during the coronavirus pandemic.
Steve Conlin, owner of Ogden’s Own, announced on Facebook that the distillery has received federal approval to produce hand sanitizer.
The Ogden distillery hopes to begin production this week and at first have the sanitizer available to people who have reusable containers.
The announcement comes as stores and hospitals face shortages of hand sanitizer due to the ongoing pandemic and the panic buying that followed. Distilleries across the country are taking similar steps.
“We are a member of the community. This is a need and it’s one we can help with because we have the manpower to do it,” Conlin said. "We have the financial resources at the moment to support it, so we’d be poor corporate community members if we didn’t.”
Once the company has secured packaging, they will produce and distribute personal 2-ounce containers and eventually larger 8- and 16-ounce containers. For now, they are focused on producing bulk amounts to meet the immediate needs and are even considering setting up refill stations in Downtown Salt Lake.
Conlin said he’s been approached by medical, governmental and religious groups to produce bulk sanitizer for them to help get the product where it is needed most. He is also working with local businesses, especially those in the food and beverage industry that have been impacted by recent closures, to get the sanitizer out.
“We aren’t looking at this as a way to make a profit, but as a community service to help those who are really hurting,” he said.
Also, Ogden’s Own will also be handing out $7,500 in gift cards to local restaurants over social media to encourage people to go out to these food and drink establishments once they start opening again. The company will be making more announcements in the coming days about the sanitizer and community efforts on their Five Wives Vodka Facebook page.