Rather than caving in the face of pandemic-related roadblocks, several plucky businesses are focusing their energy on helping alleviate the pandemic's devastation. Here are just a few examples.

 

Cheers to distilling a little germ-free-ness.

Move over, locally crafted whiskey, vodka, and gin (though we still love you). Alpine Distilling, which thankfully has its own aquifer and purifying know-how, recently shifted operations to making much-in-demand hand sanitizer. In the early days of the pandemic, the concoction of ethanol, hydrogen peroxide, glycerol, and purified water came in handy at its own Main Street establishment, the Alpine Pie Bar—and a few neighbor bars. But demand has gone well beyond local watering holes—many of which have put operations on hold. Most notably (and nobly), Alpine Distilling distributes hand sanitizer free of charge to local first responders—and plans to never charge for that vital supply. Since getting a full-fledged permit to create the product long-term, they’ve also been supplying government entities and a couple of big customers at reasonable prices (dictated, of course, by cost of goods). “You can’t get a spray bottle, much less a truckload of spray bottles right now,” explains Alpine Distilling owner Rob Sergent. So, the company has pivoted as needed, filling up gallons by hand and working its way through a labor-intensive process. Fear not. Alpine recently received a shipment of corn, so a batch of scrumptiously potable craft drink is in their (and our) future—for “sanity’s sake.” And you can still buy bottles of the distillery’s gin, vodka, bourbon, and whiskey. “It feels good to be a part of the community,” says Sergent of the hand-sanitizing production shift. “I’m really proud of how we’ve been able to fulfill this need.”

Homegrown High West Distillery (now owned by Constellation Brands) has also ventured into hand sanitizer production. Yes, they’re still whipping up that beloved whiskey. But they’ve shifted some of their production capabilities to 80 percent alcohol-based hand sanitizer, which the company is donating to local first responders and High West staff as “stabilization” commences.

Of note: Both Alpine Distilling and High West have committed funds and resources to Park City Community Foundation. The nonprofit’s Community Response Fund is still accepting donations to help the community safely reopen and cope with the impact of Covid-19.

Kudos for outfitting the frontlines and the homeless. 

Park City-based online retailer Backcountry has rapidly rolled out socially aware initiatives over the past month: donating 900 goggles to doctors, 400 apparel kits to frontline University of Utah health care workers, and creating a T-shirt fundraiser (100 percent of the proceeds went to 36,550 mask donations to homeless shelters around the nation). Now, the company has teamed up with Salt Lake-based Distillery 36 to create hand sanitizer for Utah’s at-risk homeless population (and the folks who work with them).

Kind gestures to employees have not gone unnoticed.

We have a hunch that almost every business in town is doing its utmost to take care of employees as temporary (and not so temporary) layoffs and closures take their toll on workers’ pocketbooks and psyche. Hearth and Hill, for example, recently sent home its employees with bags packed with staples—potatoes, onions, rice, beans, chicken, bread, pasta, carrots, and more. And Diversified Bars and Restaurants, which owns No Name Saloon/The AnnexButcher’s Chop House & Bar, and Boneyard Saloon/Wine Dive, has been donating 100 percent of its gift card sales since March 15 to supporting its workers during closure. 

Of note: Hearth and Hill is teaming up with local purveyors, such as Copper Moose Farms, Ranui Gardens, Nicholas and Company, Creminelli Fine Meats, Brickhouse Growers, Park City Creamery, and Red Bicycle Breadworks, and preparing and selling “Farmers Market Bags” to the public. Call 435-200-8840 for information and to preorder. 

Image: Utah Opera

Bravo, Utah Symphony | Utah Opera!

While many local nonprofits are deep in the trenches of Covid-19 support, some essential help has come from unexpected places. The folks behind the now-postponed Deer Valley Music Festival and a slew of performances in Salt Lake City and beyond have unleashed the tailored prowess of their costume makers, who are now in the throes of stitching face masks. Initially using cotton and muslin remnants, Utah Opera’s costumers stitched and donated hundreds of masks to Salt Lake Regional Medical Center. Now, the talented team is creating medical-grade masks for health care workers around the state made from supplies provided by Just Serve, a community service organization. And the costumers are hoping to make face shields for medical professionals—as soon as they can find the right materials. Bravo!