Dairy Distillery Founder Omid McDonald joined Ontario Ministers Fedeli and Fullerton to announce the Ontario Together Fund’s $455,000 investment in Dairy Distillery to scale its alcohol production for hand sanitizer.
Omid made the following remarks at the event:
Hard to believe it was only 5 months ago that I got a call from the Ottawa Hospital looking for hand sanitizer. When a hospital calls to ask for sanitizer there is only one answer: how much and when? Their answer was a lot and now. So I spoke to my partner Neal McCarten who was finishing a distilling run. He pointed to a 10,000L blending tank filled with our Vodkow vodka ready for bottling for the LCBO. I said let’s turn it into sanitizer So Neal and the team got to work and have since produced over 100,000L of hand sanitizer. We’ve donated 30,000 bottles to charities like the Shepherds of Good Hope. We also supplied fellow small businesses and individuals across the Ottawa Valley. While it’s been a challenge my team and I are proud to do our part for our community.
Today, we’re honoured to be joined by Ministers Fedeli and Fullerton. As well as MPPs Ghamari and Roberts who are here today on the recommendation of public servants who evaluate thousands of applications for funding. These public servants often go unmentioned so I wanted to thank a few who have helped us on our journey. Public servants like Sasan Farahzad at the Canadian Dairy Commission. He saw the potential of our technology to help the dairy farmers and convinced his skeptical management to fund our milk vodka project. And Mike Barre at the National Research Council who literally showed up at our door offering help to build upon the research we’d done with the University of Ottawa. With the NRC's help, we were able to bring on a leading ethanol specialist, Dave Geros, who helped us pivot to sanitizer production. And we’re here today, thanks to Susan Fournier who works in Minister Fedeli’s department. Susan encouraged me to apply to the Ontario Together Fund given that we could quickly bring online 230,000L of Ontario made ethanol for hand sanitizer and make use of 2 million liters of milk permeate a year that would otherwise be wasted. A win-win made possible by your support today.