Two Norristown businesses have joined together to fight the scarcity of hand sanitizer in Montgomery County.
Due to the surge of demand for the product, local drug stores and retailers have completely depleted their supply. As COVID-19 cases are increasing by the day, health care facilities and other government municipal agencies do not have enough for their employees.
Aaron Muderick, the founder of Crazy Aaron’s Puttyworld, said he saw the demand for hand sanitizer when China was enduring the effects of Coronavirus last month. He informed his staff, as a joke, that the manufacturing facility had the necessary materials to produce alcohol and that they should get into the hand sanitizer business.
That joke turned into a reality when Governor Wolf issued his order forcing the closures of all non-essential businesses – including Crazy Aaron’s Puttyworld factory.
Muderick thought, “How can we help? How can we change gears to be part of helping us overcome this COVID-19 crisis? And that idea came back about making hand sanitizer.”
This proved to be the best way to retain some of his staff and to satisfy a growing need of hand sanitizer to those working on the front lines.
Muderick reached out to George of Five Saints Distilling, and George was eager to assist in any way possible. The distillery in Norristown has been in operation for four years. The retired pharmacist turned distiller makes him uniquely qualified to make hand sanitizer.
“Using my pharmaceutical skills. Using my distilling skills. It’s a perfect opportunity. Had to step up to the plate. Couldn’t stick our heads in the sand. [We] had to do it,” says George.
To date, George has produced 25 gallons of sanitizer and delivered some to Einstein Montgomery in East Norriton on Sunday. He also has delivered the homemade hand sanitizer to multiple police departments across Montgomery County.
Each business brings different skills to the table, but by working together they can pool their resources to create a product that is needed by the community.
“I can do what I do best – making alcohol, sanitizer. And he [Muderick] can do what he does best making sanitizer and bottling it or labeling it” says George.
“We are using his [George’s] alcohol as well as some of that industrial alcohol because our goal is – we recognize or internal capacity to be able to make 1,500 gallons a day of sanitizer.”
Muderick and George combined provided 200 gallons of hand sanitizer to those working despite the threat of Coronavirus. Customers include hospitals, long-term care facilities, and even the post office.
Those who have purchased the sanitizer from Muderick have been effusive saying, “Thank you so much. We haven’t been able to get this anywhere and it’s so important to us” […] and the second message we have heard is ‘We’ll be back for more.’”