The past couple of years, Backwoods Gallery has seen minimal sales of its homemade hand sanitizer products.
One social media post by store owner Rosanne Primus changed that in a hurry.
Last Saturday, Primus announced that Backwoods Gallery - a gift shop in downtown Eldora - had plenty of hand sanitizer in stock. By Tuesday, it was sold out.
For the record, approximately 100 2-ounce bottles were sold during that time. The rush is due to the spread of COVID-19, and the urging by medical professionals to wash or sanitize hands often.
"We've made our own (hand sanitizer) for 15 to 20 years. It started with candles and then we added a bath line, which included some soy lotions. We do a hair and body mist and hand sanitizers came along with it," Primus said. "It was weird because 5 to 10 years ago, we sold sanitizer regularly. For the past few years, I don't believe I sold hardly any. Saturday, we had a full shelf and I thought people probably don't even know I had it anymore."
Backwoods Gallery offers 20 different kinds of scented sanitizer. Primus said she orders an FDA (Food and Drug Administration) -approved blend by the gallon, and fragrances and color are added to the mixture before it's bottled.
While some stores have limited the number of items - like hand sanitizer and toilet paper - that can be purchased in a single sale (in fact, the Iowa Falls mayor signed a proclamation urging restrictions), Primus said she doesn't restrict how much hand sanitizer a person can buy.
She said a man from Utah purchased the last six bottles in Backwoods Gallery's stock on Tuesday.
Remarkably, Primus said she was able to order four more gallons. One gallon will be shipped to the same Utah man.
"I felt like the hot spot in town for a few days," Primus said. "It was fun to see the customers come in for that reason. They were tunnel-focused and knew exactly what they wanted."
The good news is we have more coming," she added. "Maybe end of this week or end of next week for sure."