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Letter to the editor: Most SLO County distilleries selling sanitizer at reasonable price 

Letter to the editor paso robles daily news

To the editor,

Re: Germ gouging at local distillery

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, I resisted engaging in the hand sanitizer business because at the time I believed what the previous author stated: it was just an opportunity to take advantage of people in a panic. I quickly realized I was mistaken. I became very concerned when I found how many doctors, nurses, first responders, and public servants are in desperate need of sanitizer to keep themselves and the public safe. I couldn’t just stand idly by.

For four weeks, I’ve been supplying the public servants in our area and surrounding counties with cost-effective sanitizer. I charge $5 for a 4-ounce bottle to the public. This is comparable to the $2 you’d pay at the store for a 2-ounce bottle of Purell pre-pandemic ($1 per ounce). The previous author stated he bought a 2-ounce bottle of sanitizer for $10 – $5 an ounce. I agree this is unfair and should be criticized. I’ve been selling 1-gallon jugs to first responders and medical professionals for $35 per gallon; Purell was selling half gallons for that price pre-pandemic.

There will always be exceptions to the rule. Fortunately, almost every distiller in the country shares the same attitude as me and has mobilized to collectively produce literally millions of gallons of sanitizer for an incredibly reasonable price to our public servants on the frontlines of the battle against coronavirus. There will always be exceptions to the rule – but we shouldn’t let that distract us from the valuable contributions of the small business community during this pandemic. I’m proud of the small businesses that have absorbed the cost to retool their manufacturing facilities to combat the shortage of medical supplies and I applaud federal and local regulators for removing the roadblocks to allow it to happen.

Aaron Bergh
Owner of Calwise Spirits Co. & Member of Distillers of SLO County


Editor’s note: Letters to the editor are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Paso Robles Daily News or its staff. We welcome letters from local residents regarding relevant local topics. To submit one, click here. 


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