Richmond distillery producing hand sanitizer for first responders

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Falcon Spirits Distillery, located at 3701 Collins Avenue in Richmond's Parchester Village neighborhood, is having more than a
Falcon Spirits Distillery, at 3701 Collins Avenue in Richmond's Parchester Village neighborhood, is producing hundreds of bottles of hand sanitizer to benefit local first responders. (Photos contributed)

By Mike Kinney

“We are merely trying to help human beings to survive,” Farid Dormishian said.

But Falcon Spirits Distillery, which Dormishian operates at 3701 Collins Ave. in Richmond’s Parchester Village neighborhood, is having more than a “mere” impact right now in the battle to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

His small business is among countless across the nation stepping up for the cause. This month, Falcon Spirits Distillery halted production of gin, amaro, brandy and other spirits. Now, it’s producing hundreds of bottles of hand sanitizer to benefit local first responders and, to some extent, also front-line workers at restaurants and retailers. According to a Mercury News report, the City of Berkeley has ordered 1,000 bottles from the operation, which received approval from three federal agencies to produce them.

“We decided to purchase the supplies needed to start the production of the hand sanitizers before the shelter-in-pace order had been given,” Dormishian said.

Richmond distillery producing hand sanitizer for first responders
Photo credit: Falcon Spirits Distillery

The ingredients in the production are those recommended by the World Health Organization, he said. 

Dormishian said he’s not selling the hand sanitizers nor looking for a profit. Falcon Spirits Distillery is asking customers only for help covering the cost of the raw supplies used to make them.

Those supplies are currently dwindling; Dormishian said his operation has enough left for one more week of production.

“We have had commercial companies wanting to place bulk orders for our hand sanitizers, like about three pallets a day,” he said.

Dormishian declined, saying he’s not getting into the business of making hand sanitizers. He just wants to do his part in the COVID-19 response.

“This is out of concern for the welfare of our people,” he said.

While his hand sanitizers “will not solve the coronavirus crisis, “rational thinking will,” Dormishian added. He reminded our readers that a 20-second washing with soap and water remains the best line of defense in the prevention of COVID-19 infection.

“Our first responders do not carry soap or water, and they must protect themselves,” he said. “That is where our hand sanitizers come into the picture for them.”

To learn more about Falcon Spirits Distillery, visit their website and Facebook page.

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