LiDestri Foods Inc. has joined the ranks of Rochester area manufacturers who are helping with health care needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The company has transferred the production of one of its spirits lines to the creation of liquid hand sanitizer.
The process included the sourcing of the necessary raw materials, as well as packaging, company officials said. LiDestri’s production capabilities enable the company to have a great impact on filling the void and has a current order for 250,000 cases of hand sanitizer. LiDestri plans to produce and sell to the public in the coming weeks hand sanitizer under the brand name of its spirits brand Recipe 21.
All 1,300 LiDestri staffers remain employed, with more than 1,000 employees continuing to work on production lines, officials said. Office staff is working from home through the company’s investment in more than 50 new laptops to ensure each employee had the tools needed to do his or her job.
The local company has established a task force to address communication and procedures to follow state Department of Health and CDC guidelines, and has formed a cleaning task force that cleans surfaces, doors and equipment every four hours, officials said.
In a recent letter to employees, company co-CEOs Stefani LiDestri and John LiDestri thanked their team for adhering to precautions and processes and promised to continue transparency in communication.
“For more than 45 years, LiDestri Food and Drink has lived by a core value established by our chairman and father, Giovanni LiDestri, to ‘do the right thing,’” the CEOs wrote in their letter. “What we do at LiDestri Food and Drink matters — and now more than ever, our communities are counting on us to continue operations.”
In addition to producing hand sanitizer, LiDestri leadership has gifted a case of sauce to each employee during the pandemic and has given gift cards for all employees to patronize a local restaurant in Greece and in Fairport, where the company’s facilities are located.
The gift card investment — which also has helped two restaurants keep their doors open during the crisis — totals more than $50,000. Gift cards for restaurants and groceries also were issued to employees in LiDestri’s California and New Jersey facilities.
The company also has donated cases of sauce to location organizations, including a senior living facility and the Veterans Outreach Center, as well as 800 cases of sauce to Foodlink Inc.