Aintree Gin set up the first PPE pop-up shop in Liverpool
4 years ago
Aintree Gin has joined forces with Flawless Beauty owner Gemma Gilfoyle to set up the first pop-up PPE shop in Liverpool.
The unique venture comes after the coronavirus crisis forced the organic gin company, based a stone’s throw from Aintree racecourse, to change its distillery to produce hand sanitiser.
And now that success has led to a move into PPE too.
Alan Carley, operations manager for Aintree Gin explains: “The COVID 19 outbreak resulted in the cancellation of many major public events including Aintree Gin’s biggest date of the year, The Grand National. We had arranged to work with pubs, bars, restaurants, hotels and an Aintree Gin Cocktail bar outside the racecourse, and then none of this was possible.
“We had excessive stocks of ethanol (pure alcohol) normally used as a base ingredient to make our gin, so we figured out that we could help and make the maximum impact by addressing the nationwide shortage of hand sanitiser.”
The company converted its production line to produce antibacterial sanitiser spray with a team created from permanent staff and volunteers – one of which was Gemma who’d been forced to close her salon in Longmoor Lane.
Alan said: “Initially all the sanitiser we produced was donated directly to frontline workers and we set up direct supply lines to local care homes, hospices, emergency services and hospitals in the North West which were all very low in stock.
“But as word got out and demand grew, we needed to increase capacity and the only way we could do this was to sell some at a reasonable cost with any profit going back into producing – and donating – more.
“We have so far donated 500 litres of sanitiser – the equivalent of 10,000 50cl refills!”
When Aintree Gin decided more recently to start selling PPE to raise money, Gemma offered her premises as a pop-up shop so people could walk in to buy, or click and collect.
Gemma says: “I closed my shop before lockdown to protect the health of staff and customers, but I couldn’t then just sit back and do nothing, so I volunteered to help at Aintree Gin.
“When the decision was made to sell PPE it made sense to do it from my shop, rather than a warehouse.”
Aintree Gin stocks PPE equipment including masks, face shields, gloves, bio-suits and sanitiser and anyone can buy it from their website, or via click and collect from Flawless Beauty.
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Money from sales contribute to Gemma’s shop rent to help her keep her business open after Covid-19, and any profits are used to pay for more sanitiser and PPE, much of which is donated to NHS and care workers on a daily basis.
As well as sanitiser, Aintree Gin has also donated hundreds of N95 (medical grade) face masks and face shields.
Alan says: “Our emergency supplies are available 24 hours a day to anyone in an emergency situation from care homes, care workers, NHS etc…and the more we sell the more we can donate.” And Gemma adds: “The shop opened last week and has so far been a great success. We have sold out of stock each day for the first three days of trading. The huge support received from the people of Liverpool has enable us to step up and add schools to our list beneficiaries of emergency PPE in our region.”
Orders can be made on the website www.aintreegin.com or by phoning 0151 521 4476 or by visiting the shop. NHS workers and carers get an extra 20% off all products.