Throughout the past month and a half, amid closures of non-essential businesses due to COVID-19, many OEV establishments made swift changes to service offerings. In order to continue serving customers, businesses have taken to curb side pickup, delivery, and selling online to name the most popular. However, some businesses determined early on a very different way to serve their community based on existing infrastructure available to them. In Pt. 3 of the “OEV Community Connections” series, we spoke with Brandon Phoenix of Union Ten Distillery at 656 Dundas, to get the details on their shift from making small batch spirits to the highly coveted item, hand sanitizer.
“At first, with all the shortages, we really weren’t sure how we could help. But the Prime Minister’s call to action back in March got us thinking” Brandon told us.
It was blatantly obvious early on that many antibacterial products were in high demand and short supply due in part to panic buying but also because of immense need.
“We figured if we could play even a small part in helping the situation, that’s what we wanted to do.”
And that’s exactly what they did, Union Ten staff went to work on formulas, necessary licensing, and, as Brandon confirmed was the most difficult task, sourcing bottles that would meet health standards. At first, the glass alcohol bottles on hand did the trick but eventually, they were able to secure adequate, plastic bottles for distribution.
It was a lengthy and time consuming process, but staff can now see their hard work paying off.
“There are so many people in need but our first priority was frontline workers” Brandon said.
Following the distribution of hundreds of bottles of hand sanitizer to essential workers across London, Union Ten will be making their mix available to the public. In particular, Brandon said they will have 2000 bottles available for free to OEV businesses and residents in the coming weeks.
“We have a few more details to work out on this, but we want to make it available to our community at no cost so stay tuned for that.”
To fast forward a few months, will Londoners still be able to pick up hand sanitizer from their favourite neighbourhood distillery? It was confirmed that so long as there is a need, they will continue production.
According to Brandon, “the part you play in all of this is important but relative. In the grand scheme of things, we’re playing a pretty small part but again, it’s relative to what you’re capable of doing.” A very honest and very humble statement indeed but it’s safe to say that to local frontline workers, and eventually a whole neighbourhood, the part Union Ten has played in keeping our community healthy, safe, and connected, is a rather large one.
Check out Union Ten on Facebook for updates on when you can get your hands on some of their hand sanitizer right here!
Please visit the OEV BIA Business Contact List for an updated look at what all neighbourhood businesses are doing to serve their customers and the community right now.