Clayton distillery to supply Kinney with hand sanitizer

GOUVERNEUR — Six thousand bottles of liquid hand sanitizer will soon be on their way to Kinney Drugs stores, thanks to Clayton Distillery based in Clayton, New York.

“Globally, hand sanitizer is in high demand and extremely short supply right now,” Rick Cognetti, Kinney’s VP of Merchandising, Marketing & Retail Operations said.

Cognetti said he reached out to the Clayton-based 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,” Aubertine said. “It’s a classic North Country story, really.”

Aubertine said Rich McNulty, Kinney’s VP of Human Resources, is also a “friend of a friend” of his. He said 3,000 8-ounce bottles have already been delivered, with another 3,000 bottles to be delivered this week. Bottles are priced at $5.99 per bottle.

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,” Aubertine said. “Right now, we’ve got a crew of 10 bottling. … We didn’t even start making hand sanitizer until March 19 and now we’re producing 150 gallons per day.”

He said his five-gallon pails are going to hospitals, health care facilities, and other commercial applications, and the smaller bottles are going to retailers.

“The whole family has been working 16-hour days,” Aubertine said. “It’s exhausting, but it’s satisfying.”


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