Empowering Communities

From spirits to hand sanitizer

April 7, 2020

Kennay Farms Distilling is no stranger to alcohol, but it wasn’t until recently that it transitioned from producing spirits to hand sanitizer.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many small businesses like Kennay Farms have had to adapt to sustain themselves. The family-owned farm and distillery, located in Rochelle, Ill., has been serving its community for five generations selling gin, vodka, bourbon, growlers of beer – and now hand sanitizer.

As demand for hand sanitizer quickly grew in ComEd’s field offices and trucks, ComEd Front Line Supervisor John Schamberger knew exactly who to call. He and his colleagues Eric Henderson and Lenny Gooden became the distillery’s first hand sanitizer customers, purchasing 13 five-gallon buckets for ComEd’s west region offices.

“With a shortage in hand sanitizer, I knew I had to do something to provide for my colleagues who are working tirelessly to keep the lights on for our customers,” Schamberger said. “Being able to purchase the sanitizer from a local small business and help them during this difficult time too is even better.”

In addition to selling hand sanitizer, the distillery has donated hundreds of gallons of it to local police and fire departments and surrounding healthcare facilities. Its hand sanitizer is available for members of the public to purchase for 60 cents per ounce when they BYOC (bring your own container).

“My family recognized we were in a unique position to help during this pandemic and immediately transitioned our entire production floor from a bourbon run to hand sanitizer,” said Aubrey Kennay, marketing director at Kennay Farms Distilling. “The people at ComEd are providing essential services to those in need, so we are honored to provide them with an essential product to help keep them safe.”