Beer distributors have been considered essential businesses since the beginning of the Pennsylvania COVID-19 shutdown. When Mark Sablowsky, owner of the Beer Outlet, 189 Franklin Mills Blvd., realized he could use his business to help, he made adjustments to the products the outlet carried.
“We’re open and selling beer, which is great, but we brought in things you couldn’t get at a supermarket, or had to wait in line to get,” he said.
That includes personal protective equipment such as masks, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, gloves and bleach. At the beginning of the shutdown these items were difficult for some to obtain due to the demand, Sablowsky said, and may still remain elusive to some.
“We’re just trying to fill a gap and, while we’re considered essential, make ourselves essential,” he said.
Sablowsky said he tried to price the items as fairly as possible to provide the community with what they need. Some items like hand sanitizer have a first responder discount.
In the seven weeks the Beer Outlet has been selling the products, customers have come in just for the PPE, in addition to coming for the beer. Business has been busier than usual during shutdown, Sablowsky said.
“I’m no saint by any stretch, I just saw a gap and tried to fill it, and tried to help the community as best we could,” he said. ••