Kinney Drugs and Clayton Distillery partner to supply hand sanitizer to stores

GOUVERNEUR, NY – Six thousand bottles of liquid hand sanitizer will soon be on their way to Kinney Drugs stores, thanks to Clayton Distillery based in Clayton, NY.

“Globally, hand sanitizer is in high demand and extremely short supply right now. We were very happy to partner with another local business to source this product, which is essential to provide protection to our employees and customers and help stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Rick Cognetti, Kinney’s VP of Merchandising, Marketing & Retail Operations.

Cognetti reached out to the Clayton, NY-based distillery on a tip from a “friend of a friend” who knew distillery owner Mike Aubertine. “I was very excited that such a well-known and respected organization reached out to me,” said Aubertine. “It’s a classic North Country story, really. Rich McNulty, Kinney’s VP of Human Resources, is also friends with a friend of mine. When my friend heard we were making hand sanitizer, he mentioned it to Rich (McNulty), who mentioned it to Rick (Cognetti), who called me about a week ago. We’re delivering 3,000 bottles to Kinney today and another 3,000 bottles next week.”

Producing hand sanitizer has helped the family-owned distillery keep people employed at a time when so many other businesses have had to reduce their hours or shutter altogether. “This season is typically pretty quiet for us. Right now, we’ve got a crew of ten bottling sanitizer and another four full-time people handling the administrative tasks such as taking orders, billing and shipping. We didn’t even start making hand sanitizer until March 19th and now we’re producing 150+ gallons per day,” said Aubertine. He said his five-gallon pails are going to hospitals, health care facilities, and other commercial applications, and the smaller bottles are going to retailers such as Kinney Drugs. “The whole family has been working 16-hour days. It’s exhausting, but it’s satisfying to know that under these terrible circumstances, Clayton Distillery is doing our own small part to help.”

Kinney Drugs will have the Clayton Distillery 8.0 fl. oz. liquid hand sanitizer in stock at all stores by Monday, April 6, 2020, priced at $5.99 per bottle.

About Kinney Drugs: Founded in Gouverneur, NY in 1903, today the independent, employee-owned company operates 97 stores in New York and Vermont. Kinney Drugs is part of the KPH Healthcare Services family of companies, a national provider of pharmaceutical and healthcare services with complementary businesses in both the retail and commercial segments of the industry. KPH is comprised of four divisions: (1) Kinney Drugs, a chain of full-service drug stores throughout New York and Vermont; (2) Health Direct Institutional Pharmacy Services, which serves long-term care and alternative care needs; (3) ProAct, Inc., a pharmacy benefit management company with sales offices throughout the country and a mail-order pharmacy; and (4) Noble Health Services, a specialty pharmacy that dispenses medications used to treat complex and chronic diseases. KPH Healthcare Services is a 100% employee-owned company with more than 4,000 employees that provides the highest quality pharmacy and healthcare services. Every aspect of KPH’s business is guided by the values of excellence, moral responsibility, and community spirit. Visit our store locator at to find a Kinney Drugs near you.

About Clayton Distillery: Clayton Distillery is a destination distillery located in the Thousand Islands region of Northern New York. As the region’s first micro-distillery, Clayton Distillery produces premium grade distilled products from locally grown grains and fruits. Owner Mike Aubertine grew up on his family’s dairy farm in nearby Cape Vincent where some of the grain for production is grown and stored. After attending college and becoming a New York State Registered Architect, he founded Aubertine and Currier Architects, Engineers & Land Surveyors, PLLC in Watertown, New York. In 2012, Mr. Aubertine sold most of his interest in the firm and with the assistance of his partners Roger Howard and Mike Ingerson, founded the distillery in Clayton, New York. The project broke ground in July of 2012 and progressed rapidly until the grand opening in April of 2013. Clayton Distillery currently produces vodka, mixed berry vodka, gin, barrel-aged gin, un-aged corn whisky (moonshine), limoncello, orangecello, strawberry rhubarb liqueur, maple strawberry liqueur, raspberry liqueur, bourbon, maple whisky and three flavored moonshines. The company started making hand sanitizer March 19, 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.