Marquette BLP partners with Iron Fish Distillery to supply hand sanitizer to essential businesses, organizations

 (Logos for the Marquette Board of Light and Power and Iron Fish Distillery)
(Logos for the Marquette Board of Light and Power and Iron Fish Distillery) (WLUC)
Published: Apr. 13, 2020 at 5:41 PM EDT
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What started as a phone call between friends turned into a wide-reaching plan to help local health and human service organizations, local units of government, and essential businesses.

When Tom Carpenter, Marquette Board of Light and Power Executive Director, learned that his friends Richard and Sarah Anderson, owners of the Iron Fish Distillery downstate, were producing hand sanitizer in their facility, he called Richard to see if there was a possibility of supplying the MBLP with the much-needed disinfectant. As the two began talking, they devised a plan to provide it to other essential organizations as well.

The Andersons – long-time residents of Marquette before moving to Thompsonville – were looking for a way to help their local U.P. friends.

"We could not be more pleased to be in a position to support the PPE (personal protection equipment) needs of Northern Michigan essential industries, and health and human organizations with our production of hand sanitizer. Given our family roots to the Marquette community, we are especially gratified to be able to coordinate delivery of hand sanitizer with the Marquette Board of Light and Power,” Richard Anderson said.

Word of the plan spread very quickly, and before Carpenter knew it, he was taking requests from all over the area. A few gallons ordered here and there, and all of a sudden there were over 100 gallons ordered.

“I knew that we needed it, and others would need it as well,” Carpenter stated. “I just put out a few feelers, and almost immediately I started receiving emails from people whom I didn’t even contact, who had heard about it from their contacts. We want to thank Iron Fish for working quickly to make the ordering process as easy and seamless as possible and trusting the MBLP to be the conduit for distribution.”

A truck is already on its way to Marquette this week. Imperial Beverage, the distributor for Iron Fish Distillery with U.P. operations located in Ishpeming, has offered to donate transportation for the shipment, but it doesn’t end there. Iron Fish Distillery will continue to work with the MBLP throughout the health crisis to distribute hand sanitizer to eligible organizations.

Iron Fish Distillery hand sanitizer is made using the World Health Organization recommended formula and meets FDA requirements, and the distillery is providing all the hand sanitizer for the Munson Healthcare hospital system, headquartered in Traverse City.

Marquette region non-profits, local units of government and essential industries seeking hand sanitizer for their workforce may EMAIL Iron Fish Distillery at for more information on how to purchase hand sanitizer, packaged in 1 gallon containers at $60.23 a gallon.

Iron Fish Distillery is also donating hand sanitizer to be distributed by the MBLP to regional nonprofits serving low income and vulnerable populations.