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Readville liquor plant now making, distributing hand sanitizer to first responders, healthcare workers

Sanitizer bottles being made

Production line and finished product. Photos by M.S. Walker.

M.S. Walker has converted its liquor production facility in Readville to produce bottles of hand sanitizer, which it's distributing to firefighters, police and healthcare workers across the Northeast at no charge.

The company is using its "high-proof grain alcohol as a base," a spokesman says, adding that it's shipping the bottles of hand sanitizer to its Norwood headquarters for distribution across the region.

By tomorrow, the company will have produced 45,000 bottles of sanitizer and says it plans to increase production to keep up with demand.

The factory is in an industrial park that was formerly home to a Stop & Shop distribution warehouse.

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Comments

Thanks for sharing a positive story. Kudos to M.S. Walker!

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Voting closed 36

I don't want to look gift horses in the mouth but I keep seeing all these services and things for health workers but I think we also need to think about the grocery store employees and delivery people who may also be operating without sanitizer, child care, etc. I know that police and fire and hospital staff are top tier of importance but if your entire local supermarket (for me it is Market Basket) were to suddenly come down with it and close up shop then we would have a huge issue on our hands.

Just a thought.

ALTHOUGH I do think it is great to see these companies stepping up to help out. It really does make me feel like people are for the most part much better than we give ourselves credit for as a group.

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Voting closed 39

If they have a website or something. They may be able to ramp up production and expand to help those who are working in grocery stores and pharmacies. My nephew works in a pharmacy and I am worried for him. He's young and healthy, but he could still get sick.

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Voting closed 9

I have no idea about the production, but the volume (45,000) sounds huge. Plenty for those that need it. I've read of several craft distilleries in NY that are converting over to hand sanitizer. They got a cursory inspection of the ingredients and methods, then quick approval.

So, perhaps there will be enough to go around.

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Yes, every ounce counts. A distillery in Salem was asking on Facebook if there was a demand if they made it and sold it just at cost and I responded that they could add me to the list for a bottle even if the normal supply started flowing back in and they were already in production by then.

I hope we can move past this situation but even if we get enough hand sanitizer in the stores again it is good to know that these distilleries have the ability to do this and maybe in the future the Government can come up with a quick system where they can alert the distilleries if they notice supplies are dropping and the normal suppliers can not keep up.

If anything this just goes to show how useful it is to have local manufacturing of goods to some degree.

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Voting closed 12

The food chain still being open for business is literally the last barrier that we as a society have between relative calm and total chaos, based on what has been observed over the past two weeks. If a supermarket were to close anywhere in the region due to excessive employee infections, people will immediately move beyond toilet paper and chicken and start to hoard absolutely anything they can find in the remaining food stores.

It's absolutely essential to make sure that supermarket and delivery workers have what they need to stay protected, and it's past time for "donating" businesses to realize this.

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That's a good-news story. (And maybe they will expand to grocery store workers and other service workers too.) As soon as I saw this I remembered that an elderly relative used to work for M.S. Walker a zillion years ago. We used to have lots of M.S. Walker cardboard boxes for storage around the house.

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Voting closed 15

what do they normally make. i want to buy their products when things normalize.

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A bunch of different brands of cheap booze.

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Voting closed 7

but without the gel.

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I believe they blend and package there. Not sure. If I'm not mistaken, they don't actually distill. Sounds like it would be easy to convert from blending booze to blending hand sanitizer. I read recently that the federal bureaucracy that controls these things has been greatly streamlined and that approvals are taking days instead of weeks or months.

I would also assume that they are denaturing it to avoid the IRS tax on proof gallon alcohol.

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They bring in alcohol distilled elsewhere and then do stuff with that.

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Short Path Distillery in Everett is selling sanitizers and also shipping them to the stores that stock their wares for the employees.

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Voting closed 23

They are also still selling their amazing gin and other alcohol!

Are they selling the hand sanitizer from the tap room? I grabbed some gin the other day (take out obviously) and it sounded like they just started making it. I'm not sure how long it takes to make and package.

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A lot of companies have left their workers woefully underprepared. Grocery workers, janitors, etc. need it more than cops.

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Voting closed 12

I wonder if all these unusual hand sanitizer bottles will become collector's items when this is all over.

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They were in the Inner Belt Industrial Park, but the MBTA took their property by eminent domain for the Green Line Extension.

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In South Bay first I think. I remember the guy with the monocle and walking stick on the large brick building up the street from City Hospital.

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There used to be several chemical companies in the Leominster - Fitchburgh area including Cristy Corporation the inventors and market-makers for Drygas

They used to make things like Marine Anti-Freeze and Automotive Windshield Washer Fluid and the automotive gas-line deicer by the ton

It appears that competition from China seems to have driven them out of business -- bad timing

I suspect that they could have converted some of their production to hand sanitizer or surface sanitizer without too much difficulty and fairly rapidly

Oh Well

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