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‘600 gallons at a time:’ Omro distillery reflects back on hand sanitizer production

Local News

OMRO, Wis. (WFRV) – The hand sanitizer produced by Henricks Family Distillery has one important thing in common with the liquors they traditionally focus on.

“All of our products are potato-based,” says Co-Owner Peggy Hendricks.

The business decided to get involved in the hand sanitizer effort in Spring 2020.

“We do our own distillation, and we meet the high proof that was needed for the WHO recipe, the World Health Organization,” adds Hendricks.

Hand sanitizer was in short supply at the onset of the pandemic.

“You couldn’t find hand sanitizer any place,” Hendricks recalls.

So they got to work producing: “with it being potato, it was very pleasant, there’s no smell,” says Hendricks.

Featured on Local 5 News in March 2020, locals caught on to the Hendricks sanitizer.

“All of a sudden this parking lot was packed,” Hendricks remembers, “and I was only making 50 gallons at a time. I ended up having to make 600 gallons at a time.”

She never asked for payment for any of that sanitizer.

“It was strictly if they want to donate, and if they couldn’t donate, that was fine too,” explains Hendricks.

Need eventually dying down, Hendricks Family Distillery has turned their focus back to liquor and moonshine.

“I prefer to use the alcohol we distill for our products,” says Hendricks. “We just wanted to help out as many people as we could.”

That mission is seemingly a success.

The proof is in the clientele

“We had so many hospitals and funeral homes and hospice, and nursing homes and businesses and everything else coming out here,” explains Hendricks.


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