By Anna Grace Usery
When Chand Harlow touched base with his doctor and nurse friends in New York, he knew they were battling a shortage of hygiene products like hand sanitizer during the surge of COVID-19 cases facing the city.
The Wonderbird Gin co-owner and his partners began looking into purchasing supplies to make hand sanitizer and noticed many items were back-ordered. Still, they saw a need in their local community and decided to order what they could.
Beginning yesterday, they have mostly halted production of their unique grain-to-glass gin to produce and bottle hand sanitizer they will sell to local doctor offices and businesses where it is most needed, like restaurants.
“It’s a great way to help out and a good way to put our manufacturing plant here to good use,” Harlow said.
Harlow said they have enough supplies to make about 1,000 bottles, and, with more supplies coming, will continue to monitor the need.
Wonderbird joins the state’s other two distilleries—Cathead Vodka and Crittenden Distillery—in converting their facilities to make hand sanitizer. Also joining the effort is Lazy Magnolia Brewery in Kiln and Queen’s Reward Meadery in Tupelo, according to the Mississippi Alcohol Beverage Control.
Harlow said the distillery’s efforts are not only to help during this time of need, but they want to show Mississippi that Wonderbird is a brand it can trust and be proud of.
“We not only want to show them the quality of the product but the values of the company,” he said. “We’re just creating and doing something that’s good for everyone.”
Right now the distillery is only selling its hand sanitizer to doctors’ offices and other essential businesses, but, if they still have the inventory, Harlow said they will open up sales to the public.
He says the best way to follow Wonderbird’s news is to find them on Instagram or to visit the website. For the time being, Wonderbird is offering curbside pickup of their gin at the distillery for 10% off a bottle.