In the wake of the ongoing battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, an Abbotsford distillery has stepped up in a big way to assist frontline health care workers.
In the past week Abbotsford’s New Wave Distilling, located at 3387 Tolmie Road, has produced hundreds of bottles of sanitizer and has given them all away free to health care workers.
The 500 millilitres bottle is made up of 70 per cent ethyl alcohol and can be used to sanitize surfaces and hands.
Owner/operator Caroline Mostertman said she, her husband Paul and daughter Kelsey and their employees have come together to provide a helping hand against coronavirus.
Caroline said it’s primarily Kelsey who distills and manufactures the sanitizer, and the response from health care workers has made all the efforts more than worth it.
“Quite honestly it has been one of the most emotional weekends that we’ve ever had talking with this steady stream of frontliners,” she said. “They are scared, worried and all have stories regarding limited supplies or no supplies. They will be the ones who will be putting themselves at risk for us in the next months to come. We have been working round the clock to get what we have produced and bottled and distributed.”
She said it’s not necessarily for them to use at work, but for these workers to have for use at home and in their personal lives with their own families.
“Like so many of us they can’t really get anything in stores and the hospitals and clinics have all their supplies in lockdown or are being used,” she said. “It makes it hard for the workers to keep their own family safe, especially with them travelling back and forth to work. Across the board that seems to be their worry – just the inability to protect their own families and that’s why we jumped in. It’s just been quite emotional talking to everybody involved, it’s been hard not to be in tears talking to some of these people.”
New Wave Distilling won several awards for its line of spirits, gin and rum at the recent Canadian Artisans Distillers Competition, and the company also operates under the same umbrella as Ripples Estates Winery.
The Mostertman family have run both New Wave Distilling and Ripples Estates Winery since April 2019.
Caroline joked that she scolded her husband for stocking up on hand sanitizer and bottles at auctions in the past, but that both of those purchases have turned out to be valuable. The family donated a pallet of the hand sanitizer to the Chilliwack Hospital last week, and those bottles will be used to store the sanitizer they will continue to produce.
She added that the free sanitizer for healthcare workers will continue to be produced, but will not be available for sale to the public. She did state that they are hoping to partner up with another local supplier to help create another sanitizer product that will be available for purchase by the public.
For more details on their future plans, follow @NewWaveDistilling on Instagram or on Facebook.