We’ve all heard the sage advice, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”
In the case of Armada-based Blake’s Hard Cider, it would read, “When life gives you COVID-19, make hand-sanitizer.” The company began supplying liquid hand sanitizer for distribution anywhere in the State of Michigan on Wednesday.
The distillery, located in Macomb County, will manufacture and distribute gallon size hand sanitizer for hospitals and large businesses and in 8-oz spray bottle size available for purchase for the public and free of charge for first responders, according to Andrew Blake, owner and founder, Blake’s Hard Cider and president of Blake Family Companies.
“We consider ourselves fortunate to be in the position to expand our production capabilities to manufacture and supply hand sanitizer that meets World Health Organization standards to front line healthcare workers and the public,” Blake said. “Now, more than ever, we must find ways to support and look out for each other and Blake’s is proud and committed to do our part.”
According to Blake, the development, planning, and procurement to production and launch of the new hand-sanitizer product, from start to finish was fast and furious and accomplished in under three weeks.
“We were fortunate to have our distillery equipment to be able to mass produce the hand sanitizer. Our vendor partners Land & Sea (containers) and Artex (labels), both Michigan companies, were quick to support our efforts in material procurement and donations also,” Blake said.
Blake says the company will be working to support local businesses and the community, adding that inquiries for bulk orders can be emailed to, [email protected].
In addition to providing hand sanitizer, family-owned and operated Blake’s Farm & Cider Mill has initiated several measures to support the community. To assist students who rely on and are now without free or reduced meal programs at school, children aged 18 and under can receive free bagged lunch (hotdog, bag of chips and a drink) daily between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., one per person.
Blake’s is also collecting medical supplies (masks, gowns, gloves, disinfectant) accepted in sealed zip lock or garbage bags at the drive-through during business hours to be delivered to area hospitals. In exchange for support, donors will receive a free cup of Blake’s sweet cider and a donut.
Established in 2013, Blake’s Hard Cider is an independent, family-owned and operated Michigan craft cidery. Located on an 800-acre orchard Blake’s Hard Cider was founded on the values of its more than 70-year farming roots.
Blake says the operation has modified routine business hours and practices during the state’s on-going COVID-19 Stay Home, Stay Safe Executive Order, now offering curbside and drive through services. The response has been good, so good that the operation is now open seven-days a week.
“We’ve had a great response from the public and a lot of thanks for being able to come out to the farm through our drive-through in a safe setting following all CDC rules to get some farm favorites,” Blake said. “We are seeing a lot of orders through our cider Mill and current “to go” menu. The most popular items are hard cider, beer, cider and donuts, and jarred goods.”
Visit www.blakefarms.com or Facebook.com/BlakeFarmsArmada for more information.
Michigan Farm Bureau and Michigan Farm News are committed to providing its members and readers with the latest news and information on the COVID-19 pandemic. For news, updates and resources, visit https://www.michfb.com/MI/Coronavirus/. The page will be updated daily as more information becomes available.