Ionogen opens first retail store

  • John Shanahan, Ionogen co-founder and CEO, left, with Ionogen employees. - Photo submitted

  • Houston Sanders, East Tennessee marketing manager for Ionogen, welcomes the community to its recently opened Ionogen retail store at 815 Herron Road, beside Buddy Gregg RVs & Motor Homes and Cutting Edge Classroom. - Photo submitted

A Knoxville-based company, headquartered at 6321 Baum Drive, that produces non-toxic sanitizers and disinfectants has opened its first retail satellite store at 812 Herron Drive in Farragut.

Ionogen will celebrate with a ribbon cutting, hosted by Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce, beginning at 3:30 p.m., Friday, Nov. 13, at the store.

“We want to tell the story about Ionogen,” said Houston Sanders, Ionogen East Tennessee market manager who owns the East Tennessee franchise. “Everything is made right here on Baum Drive, so we’re an East Tennessee product made in East Tennessee by local East Tennesseans.”

“We’re really prideful of — back in the day (when) East Tennessee had this history with the (Oak Ridge)

labs of innovation and of education with the universities — that we’re continuing that tradition,” he added. “We’re inventing new ways to make (our product).

“We’re just proud of helping keep pushing that innovation of East Tennessee.”

Now employing between 40 and 50, “In February it was five,” Sanders said, attributing the growth to the demand for disinfectants after COVID in March.

“When people couldn’t get Lysol, we were the only place for them to turn to,” he added. “We sell non-toxic, safe sanitizer and disinfectant products – so safe you can actually drink it.

“We have a product we know is stronger, safer and better than the competitors.”

Ionogen’s plans are to put stores, such as the Herron Road location, in and around East Tennessee as the needs grow, said Chris Carter, business strategist.

The company produces Ionopure, which not only carries disinfectants, but also skin and hand sanitizers with moisturizers; produce wash; CPAP cleaners; degreasers; glass cleaners; pet health sprays; and hospital-grade disinfectant, Sanders said.

The company also has humidifiers that use an air sanitizer to humidify and clean the air of an office, gym, school or home.

“Our humidifier is our No. 1 seller,” Sanders noted.

Ionogen technicians also go into churches, schools, businesses and homes and use a spray to disinfect, he added.

Sanders said the company, started by John Shanahan, its CEO, and Dr. Gene Overholt two years ago,  uses ionized salt water to create hypochlorous acid, which sanitizes.

“We take a salt-water brine and we pass electricity through that,” he added. “If you remember simple chemistry, H2O sodium NACL you pass electricity through and what comes out is HOCL (hypochlorous), which disinfects.”

“We can make it in so many different strengths, and measure by parts per million,” Carter said, so it can go from a home-use sanitizer to a hospital-grade disinfectant.

The Farragut Ionogen store is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday, and may be reached at 865-555-7200.