Paul Butvila makes acrylic barriers and frames at Mouldings and More.
A West Kelowna business has adapted during the COVID-19 pandemic to keep its employees working, help other businesses protect their staff and customers and support local food banks.
Mouldings and More, a picture frame manufacturer that has been in business for over 25 years, now makes acrylic virus barriers.
The Stevens Road business was already using acrylic to make display cases to protect items such as sports memorabilia, glassware and masks.
It began when a customer whose wife had severe asthma was looking for a way to protect her at work and asked the business if they could make something that could go in front of her.
“It kind of snowballed from there,” said Tracey Spooner with Mouldings and More.
Moving to making the barriers was an easy transition as the company is using a product they already have on hand and employees are using the same skills with different results.
The acrylic, which goes by the trade name Plexiglass, has unique entities and can’t just be glued, cut or drilled in a normal manner.
The acrylic is mounted upright on a counter and creates a barrier to give distance between staff and customers when they’re doing face to face transactions.
“It gives peace of mind,” said Spooner.
The response to the virus barriers has been wonderful, she said.
Mouldings and More didn’t want to appear to be trying to prosper during the pandemic when so many people were not working.
Spooner said the business would have been closed if it wasn’t making something necessary to protect people from the virus.
Mouldings and More is giving 20% of their net profits to the food bank.
They have already made one donation that was matched by Lakeview Market, the first grocery store that worked with Mouldings and More.
The business is helping local employers whose businesses aren’t an essential service prepare to open.
“They are choosing to purchase from our company, we hope not only because we’re doing a good job and we’re giving a donation to the food bank but because we’re a local business,” said Spooner.
They are also getting queries from businesses preparing for if and when they can open and want to have some barriers ready to go.
As word of mouth has spread through communities such as Kamloops, Vernon and Penticton, Mouldings and More has committed that as businesses in those communities start to use their barriers, they will set aside their portion of the proceeds for those communities’ food banks or Salvation Armies.
The barriers from Mouldings and More are attached to the business’s counter with a two-sided tape.
Because they sit on the counter, customers are not changing what they already have and not drilling holes.
“We want to make it feel like it was there the whole time,” said Spooner, adding barriers are customized for each customer and can be easily removed down the line.
Dockside Marine on the Westside, which is open to the public, installed virus barriers from Mouldings and More at the reception desk, parts desk and service desk.
Michelle Cartmell with Dockside said they went with Mouldings and More to support a local business but also to support the local food bank.
“It’s an all-around win,” she said.