Lockwood Distilling Co. is answering a need in the community by halting the production of spirits and instead turning alcohol into hand sanitizer.

Owner Evan Batt said he and his wife Sally were receiving calls from the public about the possibility of Lockwood producing hand sanitizer. After looking into the process and noticing the scarcity of ingredients, Batt realized the urgent need for the product.

“If we get an opportunity to give back and help out when we can, I think we would be crazy not to take advantage of that,” Batt said.

Batt also hopes this shift will protect his employees’ livelihoods. The business has been forced to not only limit the number of people in the building but also cut hours and shift job duties, he said. Making hand sanitizer is another way to keep employees working, Batt said.

“We are really fortunate that I can push ahead with some labor to build-up inventory,” Batt said. “We are trying our hardest to keep our employees on for as long as we can.”

In addition to producing hand sanitizer, Lockwood will continue offering to-go meals and drinks, Batt said.

The hand sanitizer will be distributed to organizations within Richardson as well as outside of the community, Batt said. The distillery plans to both donate and sell the product. Batt said they are particularly interested in donating to first responders in Richardson.

“We’ve got a pretty long list on both sides, and we are going to do our best to share the wealth and get it to as many people as possible,” Batt said.

To help fund the operation, Lockwood set up a GoFundMe. The goal is to raise $20,000 for materials needed to create the donated product.

Even if that goal is not met, Batt said Lockwood will continue to produce the sanitizer.

“We are going to donate regardless, we are going to produce regardless, we are going to do everything we can,” Batt said.

Batt said the first sample batch of hand sanitizer was completed March 25. The distillery will continue to tweak the formula and will ramp up production as much as possible.

“I am hoping that the combination of goodwill and hard work will prevail here,” Batt said.