They say “when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade” but when you own a gin distillery, hand sanitiser is the next best thing.

After months of planning, building and probably a few heated debates, the Yates family were ready to share their newest project with the world – Pomona Distilling Co. Their small batch artisan distillery, bistro and bar swung their doors open in December 2019 and boy, did things take off.

Just a few weeks in, the distillery had become a must visit watering hole on the northern end of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland. Business was booming and owner, Robin Yates was witnessing his vision come to life – “A nice place for nice people to have a nice drink.”

That was of course, until things suddenly changed overnight. On Sunday, 22nd March Prime Minister, Scott Morrison announced the indefinite closure of all pubs, clubs and all non-essential indoor venues across Australia, in a new measure to contain the spread of Coronavirus. While the distillery would still be allowed to provide takeaway meals, the news instantly prohibited the majority of their business.

Now, anyone who knows the Yates family would know that they’re not the type of people to go down without a fight. Rather than retreating, Robin quickly reminded himself that “every problem is a window of opportunity.” Being a retired chemist, he knew they had the ability to make hand sanitiser and it didn’t take long for that idea to take flight. What was once the restaurant’s inside dining area is now a space used for bottling and labelling. If you’re keen to get your hands on some, you can purchase a bottle (*or ten) at the distillery. *We all know this stuff is liquid gold at the moment, so you best make your trip worth while.

If you love your food, you’ll be pleased to know the restaurant continues to serve up delicious takeaway meals throughout the week and that includes a specials board. Plus, you can now take home your favourite PDC cocktails. Just add ice, shake and enjoy!

There is no doubt that those who own small businesses are going through extremely tough times at the moment but if you can take one thing away from this story, we hope it’s that you remind yourself to “look for the blue sky.” This crazy storm will soon pass and we’ll look to the skies and smile once again.

Pomona Distilling Co – 18 Reserve Street, Pomona, Queensland

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