Around the world, distilleries are doing their part to help combat the mass shortage of hand sanitizer due to the COVID-19 pandemic—and Dallas-Fort Worth distilleries are no exception.
Last week, Lewisville’s Bendt Distilling Company made the jump from producing whiskey to hand sanitizer. Now, BuzzBallz, LLC/Southern Champion has decided to follow suit in neighboring Carrollton with hopes to produce 10,000 gallons of hand sanitizer over the next week.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently gave distillery owners an emergency allowance to create hand sanitizer, which was previously restricted due to customary limitations.
BuzzBallz is already a pioneer in the beverage industry, so it’s not that surprising they’re contributing to the frontline in the fight against coronavirus. The ready-to-drink cocktail company is led by Merrilee Kick, the only female owner of a combined distillery and winery in the U.S.
Kick, CEO and founder, decided to reach out to Nate Mickish, Texas Health Resources’ vice president of Sourcing and Supply Chain Management, on the same day the limitations were lifted to see if they needed hand sanitizer.
After hearing that three of their 14 hospitals desperately needed hand sanitizer, Kick’s team got to work.
BuzzBallz staff members began preparing to create hand sanitizer using their current resources and creating the formula requirements and process.
“The World Health Organization (WHO) listed a formula that we were required to use,” Kick said in a statement. “So, our heads of procurement, marketing, sales and finance teams went out into the market to find things like 100 percent pure glycerin to add to the batch.”
BuzzBallz staff members volunteered to manually bottle 100 gallons of hand sanitizer. They were able to produce several pallets quickly, which were delivered to the Texas Health Resources corporate office that same day.
The soon-to-be-made hand sanitizer will be distributed to hospitals in the Texas Health Resources network immediately, according to Mickish. BuzzBallz also plans to donate hand sanitizer to local fire and police departments, Southern Glazers Wine & Spirits delivery personnel, and grocery clerks restocking shelves.
The 10,000-gallon batch of hand sanitizer Kick hopes to produce and donate in the next week has an estimated value of $150,000.
Get on the list.
Dallas Innovates, every day.
Sign up to keep your eye on what’s new and next in Dallas-Fort Worth, every day.