Monashee Spirits Craft Distillery has halted producing spirits to make a surface disinfectant for free.
“We’re going as fast as we can to make it,” said Josh McLafferty, co-owner of Monashee Spirits.
When the COVID-19 crisis first started to cause shortages, McLafferty said he was chatting with a lady in Save-On-Foods who needed a disinfectant for her arthritis injections.
|Jenn and Josh McLafferty and the owners of Monashee Spirits, which normally distills a variety of vodka, gin, brandy, whiskey and liqueurs. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)|
At the time, the grocery store was sold out.
McLafferty said a byproduct of making spirits, is a surface disinfectant made from pure ethanol that he usually throws away. Instead, McLafferty realized he could start giving it away to people in need.
On March 16, McLafferty made a post of Facebook, advertising the free disinfectant. Since then, he said the need has exploded.
McLafferty said he’s getting phone calls from doctors in Vancouver, the local Revelstoke RCMP, BC Hydro – all of them needing more disinfectant.
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It is with a heavy heart we announce that Monashee Spirits will be closing its doors temporarily. We’ll be in constant evaluation and monitoring the situation and updating you as we move forward. The bottom line is we are a small space that people come to conjugate, socialize and gather at. The risk is too high for us to jeopardize our staff, family and this community for a small amount of money if we pushed thru being open when adviced to close our doors. After speaking with many business owners in and around the community, our local physicians, the pleas from our health authority and notices from many government bodies we need to take these actions to ensure the community as a whole can get thru this. It is not about stopping the virus from getting here; it’s about controlling it in a way so our health care providers can give the best damn care possible to anyone that needs it and flatten the curve. It is our hope that with these actions that all of us are undertaking right now we can look back one day and say that we acted appropriately, for the greater good, and we as business owners, entrepreneurs and as a community whole came together and rose above. We urge our fellow hospitality business owners to consider the same actions to help our community. We will still be manufacturing our alcohol sanitizer and will keep constant updates about it for all of you that need it it’s completely free of charge. Help your neighbors, support your local businesses when you can, call someone you haven’t heard from and check in, and approach this situation with love and softness in your hearts. We are an amazing community Revelstoke and together we will do great things. Be safe, drink local Spirits and wash your damn hands!
One day, McLafferty said he donated more than 40 litres.
Now, McLafferty is solely producing the disinfectant, using raw materials that would have otherwise been used for making spirits, which is said is costing the company thousands of dollars.
“There are more important things than money,” said McLafferty.
He said if people need surface disinfectant, it’s best to reach out to him on Facebook or Instagram. There’s also a shortage of containers, so he continued it’s best to bring your own.