On the March 18 evening news, Paul Todd, GaMEP project manager, saw a story of a distillery in Atlanta that had shifted gears to produce hand sanitizer to meet the needs of the public during the coronavirus crisis. In the interview, Jeff and Craig Moore of Old 4th Distillery said they were struggling to meet the production needs. Paul went to the company website and filled out the “Contact Us” form, introducing the GaMEP and offering his assistance. Later that evening, Moore responded to Paul and the two met to discuss the opportunity further.
At the point they met, the company had been giving away free bottles of hand sanitizer to neighbors, but after having more than 600 people stop by in one day, the team decided to refocus their efforts. Old 4th Distillery is now giving away free hand sanitizer to local first responders, and has secured a contract with the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA) to make industrial quantities of hand sanitizer, which GEMA is then distributing to other agencies and first responders statewide.
GaMEP and Old 4th Distillery agreed that if the 10-person company was going to produce industrial quantities of hand sanitizer under contract, it could use help from the GaMEP in sourcing materials.
Since that initial discussion, the GaMEP has done the following for Old 4th Distillery:
- Connected the company with two GaMEP clients, one in South Georgia and the other in Atlanta, that make plastic bottles and jugs.
- Located a source for Ethanol from St. Louis, Missouri and has had a truckload of material delivered to its plant.
- Connected the owners with a manufacturer in Mableton, Georgia, that will supply Old 4th Distillery with containers, so that the company can transfer a tanker truck quantity of isopropyl alcohol to these smaller containers.
- In discussion with an industrial supply chain to provide the company with pump dispensers.
- Consulted on the issue of how to label empty bottles.
Paul continues to be a resource for Old 4th Distillery, and provides the owners with information and connections to GaMEP clients, partners, and Georgia Tech, so that the company can continue to branch out into this new product line and serve a critical need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
By Katie Takacs, with the Georgia Manufacturing Extension Partnership