Serving Up Smiles

During these unprecedented times, Stonewall Kitchen is happy to lend a (sanitized!) helping hand to those who have been hit hardest in our local community. Here are just a few of the ways we’re giving back:

Wiggly Bridge Hand Sanitizer Collaboration

In light of the current global crisis, it’s amazing to see how communities are coming together. From masks to gloves to face shields, companies are finding creative ways to put their resources to work. And we’re doing the same.

As you might expect, we go through quite a bit of pure cane sugar here at Stonewall Kitchen. But these days, we’re using it to make more than just tasty jams. In partnership with our friends and neighbors at Wiggly Bridge Distillery, we’re donating our pure cane sugar to produce hand sanitizer for healthcare organizations and emergency establishments.

You may be wondering what role cane sugar plays in the production of hand sanitizer. Well, to craft sanitizer, you need alcohol. And to craft alcohol, you need sugar—roughly 1,000 pounds per batch! To make all this possible, the amazing team over at Wiggly Bridge has converted part of their distillery into a hand sanitizer production facility. There, our pure cane sugar combines with water and yeast in 750-gallon vats, sitting for 3–7 days to allow the yeast time to ferment the sugar and turn into alcohol.

These are vats at various stages of the fermentation process.

Over the next 16 hours, the alcohol is then distilled down to 80 gallons at 130 proof and mixed with hydrogen peroxide and glycerin. Featuring 65% alcohol, the finished sanitizer gets poured into 5-gallon pails and is transferred over to our Village Candle facility in Wells, Maine. Our team then packs it into jugs and bottles, applies the custom labels and distributes the sanitizer to surrounding establishments in need like York Hospital, York Fire Department and Sentry Hill Nursing Home.

This distilling process starts in the still on the left and ends in the still on the right.

This is a product made by our community for our community, and we couldn’t be prouder!

Free Meals from the Café & Cooking School

With the safety of our guests in mind, we recently made the tough decision to close our York Café and Cooking School to the public. But just because our doors aren’t open, doesn’t mean our hands are idle. Over the course of the last few weeks, our knowledgeable staff members have put their food prep skills to good use, creating hundreds of meals for our senior citizens, overworked first responders and the local school lunch program. It’s hardly business as usual, but we’re still here feeding our community in the best way we know how.

Easter Bag Donations

Anyone who has visited one of our Company Stores can tell we have a lot of fun with our seasonal displays—and Easter is always one for the books! Of course, this year things are a little different: our York Company Store is temporarily closed (along with our other retail locations) and that means we don’t have a way to showcase the majority of our Easter-themed merchandise. But rather than dwell on this setback, we’re choosing to turn a negative into a positive by donating these goodies to our local community members. Our staff has joyfully taken on the role of the Easter bunny, packing up over 250 bags to give to Wells and York families for the holiday. Filled with confections, stuffed animals, flowers and more, these Easter packages will hopefully bring a little extra “hop-piness” to those who need it most.