What these companies are doing to make hand sanitizer for you

Several companies in Windsor and Essex County have come together to create hand sanitizer - all while working from home.

InnerSeasonings, University of Windsor, Wolfhead Distillery, Peak Processing and Essex Linen have teamed up

InnerSeasonings International is known for making condiments and dressings. (Submitted by: InnerSeasonings)

A company that makes condiments and dressings in Windsor is now trying to create hand sanitizer, but the initiative has taken a small group of people with a range of expertise — all working from home.

"It's not that simple. There are rules and regulations and certifications," said Helena Racovitis CEO of InnerSeasonings International, a local company known for Tunnel BBQ Sauce.

Racovitis said she was reading about companies using their built-in infrastructure and expertise to make hand sanitizer and decided she wanted to get involved as well.

She started sending emails to anyone she could think of that would be able to help.

"The feedback was incredible," said Racovitis.

Within a matter of days, the University of Windsor, Wolfhead Distillery, Peak Processing and Essex Linen Supply all committed to the project — even though social distancing has kept them from meeting face-to-face.

"We have just met over email," said Racovitis.

Helena Racovitis, CEO of InnerSeasonings has been reaching out to others to produce hand sanitizer. (Submitted by: Helena Racovitis)

John Trant is a chemistry professor at the University of Windsor. He has been doing what he can from home to help.

"I'm actually someone who can help in this situation. I'm not a healthcare worker, I don't work in a grocery store... I can't help with doing any of that, but what we can help... is the production of this hand sanitizer," he said.

Overcoming obstacles to start production

Racovitis said she doesn't know when production will begin or how it will look, but she knows it will happen in the coming days.

"I think we're still debating. But I know that some of it will be produced at Wolfhead [Distillery] and some of it will be produced at Peak Processing," she said.

InnerSeasonings will be helping with the supply chain, some of the ingredients, packaging and possibly distribution.

"I'm starting to learn that [InnerSeasonings doesn't] necessarily have all the things that are required to do this but the right people are showing up and we'll be doing it," she said.

Planning for the future

Once the hand sanitizer is made it will be distributed to frontline workers.

"We aren't doing this to make a profit," said Trant from the University of Windsor.

John Trant is an assistant professor in the department of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Windsor. (University of Windsor)

Racovitis said the group is looking at producing large volumes for hospitals, long-term care homes and food supply companies.

"And then of course we'll have small individual bottles that you get on an airplane, you know keep in your purse, or wherever," she said. "We we don't want to have a shortage again."

The link below is an interview with John Trant on Afternoon Drive.

Finding a sense of purpose while being told to self-isolate can be a challenge. But a Windsor chemist seems to have mixed the perfect equation for this. John Trant explains his mission to produce hand sanitizer for frontline workers. 6:49