In The Spirit of Community Collaboration

In The Spirit of Community Collaboration

When COVID-19 hit the impact was immediate, affecting all businesses and services and encouraging everyone to find new ways to work and support each other.

Based in Ringwood in the New Forest, Comax has supplied local hospitality businesses, care homes and schools with professional cleaning, catering and PPE products for over 25 years. So, from the start of the andemic, they were aware of the changing marketplace and adapted rapidly. Sourcing stock became challenging due to the incredible demand for sanitiser and PPE. However, the team at Comax were able to quickly focus the business to janitorial and PPE supplies, initially prioritising NHS, care homes and schools, and working hard to ensure continuous supplies of crucial stock.

Five months on with the hospitality industry getting back on its feet, Comax are excited to be collaborating with fellow local business Conker Spirit, Dorset’s first gin distillery. Back in April, Conker Spirit rapidly shifted their production to supply sanitiser to frontline workers. During the start of the epidemic, they gave away hundreds of 70cl bottles of hand sanitiser, aptly naming it Community Spirit. Made from the waste ‘heads’ of their distillation process, it had the added benefit of being full of the oils and aromas from their gin botanicals. This generosity prompted quite a bit of interest from the local press. It was not long before emails expressing interest from companies all over the country flooded their inbox.

Rupert Holloway, Founder and Head Distiller of Conker Spirit, says: “That’s when we knew it was going to take more than a gesture of a few hundred bottles of free sanitiser. There was a genuine need for us to go into full-scale production of the WHO formulation hand sanitiser, and quickly!”

Since then, Conker Spirit have manufactured over 80,000 litres of WHO Formulation hand sanitiser alongside their usual distillery operations, supplying frontline services, key worker businesses and people in their homes. Now, as lockdown lifts and businesses start to open their doors again, they have taken their sanitiser production to a completely new level with the launch of ‘Sanitise this’, a separate company within the Conker group that offers ethically priced, beautifully presented sanitiser solutions for the hospitality industry and businesses - with Comax as distributors.

This new partnership between Comax, as locally based distributors, and manufacturers Conker Spirit is a perfect match! Both are delighted to launch Community Spirit’s 'Sanitise this' into bars, hotels and restaurants across the South (and beyond). 'Sanitise this' is now available for businesses to order from Comax in 500ml and 5 Litre containers. However, individuals can purchase small quantities of 'Sanitise this' direct from Conker Spirit.

Tracy Nash, Commercial Manager, Hampshire Fare, comments: “The pandemic has been devastating for so many. However, out of this difficult situation, I have heard so many encouraging and positive stories of local businesses supporting each other and their communities by working together. This is one of those stories – two Hampshire Fare members who are successfully collaborating.”

For more tales from lockdown – read HERE about another new business that has emerged – this time a pop-up Farm Shop!