A Kawartha Lakes-based company, Dvine Laboratories in Lindsay, has retooled their manufacturing to begin producing hand sanitizer – up to one million bottles a month if needed.
Three and a half weeks ago, owner of Dvine Laboratories, Mike Meathrel, couldn’t see the point of making the change from their usual e-liquids for e-cigarettes, among other products.
Two weeks ago, that all shifted as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold.
“Things were changing rapidly. I could see there was going to be a huge deficit for these products,” Meathrel tells the Advocate. This was long before the province put the call out to ask manufacturers to consider retooling to make needed products.
Meathrel’s sister, a registered nurse for 30 years, also had some discussions with him about what would be needed in the coming weeks and months at hospitals and other health care settings.
“This virus was especially dangerous for front line health care providers. We wanted to make sure they have the tools they need — they’re protecting us in this situation,” he says.
Meathrel says the company was also at a turning point. Given they employ 42 people, with the vast majority of the workers in Lindsay and other parts of Kawartha Lakes, it was prudent they make a product that was in demand for the battle against the pandemic.
“We employ a lot of people here. It would be tough to say we need to lay anyone off because we have no work. This carries us through a slower time and gives our people much needed jobs.”
As a team, everyone at Dvine has agreed to keep their social circles as small as possible.
“People are expected to basically go home and watch Netflix at the end of the day. It’s for everyone’s safety.”
If someone seems sick at all they’re sent home for two weeks,” he says.
Dvine, just off Hwy. 36 in Lindsay, will have two manufacturing lines running as of Thursday to produce the hand sanitizer, at a rate of about 300,000 bottles a month to start.
Their customers range from health units, doctors’ offices, other manufacturing facilities, and the City of Toronto, among many other clients. Dvine does not sell the product to the general public but they will sell to local retailers if they contact Dvine to place an order.
The company also sees the need for more employees, given the demand.
“We’re going to be hiring some temporary labourers,” Meathrel confirms. Just send a resume along to if interested.
As a serial optimist, Meathrel is not anticipating gloom and doom forever.
“The good times are coming – we’ll get through this.”