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Clayton bakery, distillery team up to help first responders

Have you heard the one about the bottler, the baker and the label maker?

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Monica Laliberte
, Executive producer/consumer reporter
CLAYTON, N.C. — Have you heard the one about the bottler, the baker and the label maker?

They all got together at InStill Distilling Co. in Clayton. And with a little financial help from the town's downtown development association, they're turning rum into sanitizer.

"It's our rum at a very high proof, mixed with hydrogen peroxide and glycerin and distilled water," said Eric Tansey, the "bottler" and InStill owner.

Before coronavirus, InStill was a craft rum distillery.

They teamed up with Rich Girard, the "baker." Girard owns Clayton Bakery & Cafe.

He worked with the World Health Organization on the formula.

"Initially, I thought it would be great to help our bakery and our customers and other businesses," said Girard.

InStill owner Tansey, a former police officer, came up with the idea to help first responders.

"Being in that environment without sanitizer, it's incomprehensible to me," said Tansey.

"Police, for example," said Girard, "don't have a sink and soap and water in their cars. They need to sanitize more than anybody."

"It's pretty cool," said Clayton fire Captain Joshua Spivey.

Spivey's firehouse just got a big delivery, 56 bottles and a refill.

"We go to people on their worst days. We are right there with them," said Spivey. "We've got to maintain our sense of safety and make sure we are being careful."

As for how much sanitizer the business owners have donated so far? It's a little unclear.

At first, people could simply bring something to fill.

"We were just filling up containers, mason jars, whatever they brought in," said Tansey. "As far as bottles go, I think we're somewhere close to 500 or 600 bottles. Probably delivered another 400 to 500 today."

"It's good to be part of another business and make things happen that are helping the community," said Girard.

"We just kind of encourage everybody to do their thing for humanity. It's such a perfect time to do something nice," added Tansey.

The bakery and distillery have another partnership, which they call Rum Bombs. They're chocolate-covered cake balls infused with rum.​


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