Wayward Distillery is making hand and spray sanitizer out of aloe vera gel.

Courtenay distillery using aloe vera gel to make sanitizer

Wayward Distillery needs aloe vera gel to create hand and spray sanitizers, which are disappearing from store shelves as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

READ: 45 new COVID-19 cases in B.C….

Wayward owners David and Andrea Brimacombe started to distribute free sanitizers to people and organizations on Wednesday. The priority is first responders, medical staff and charities in need, followed by individuals and families unable to purchase sanitizer.

“I’ve had a couple physicians come in,” David said. “I have spray sanitizer. We’re limiting to 250ml for individuals. We have sent a couple litres to fire departments. But the hand sanitizer, we’re out. I need aloe vera, and I need the community to bring it to me. A gallon of aloe vera will make 10 litres of sanitizer.”

Kelly Matthews from Local Refillery in Courtenay donated the first gallon of aloe vera Wednesday.

The Brimacombes use aloe vera gel, ethanol and pressed lime oil to make the sanitizer.

“We saw a way that we could be helpful,” David said. “We are a part of this community. We’re a small business…I have people coming in here with terminal lung diseases, people who are working at hospice, at seniors centres and transition homes. They have nothing. They can’t buy it. Even the police departments. This is us trying to do some good while we still can.”

Because sales are down, the couple had to initiate some layoffs Wednesday.

“We’re repurposing everyone that we can,” David said. “One of the things we’re trying to get up and running is complimentary delivery in the Comox Valley.”

Wayward Distillery is located at 2931 Moray Ave. in Courtenay. It’s open every day from noon – 6 p.m.


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