Too much of a good thing? AmmoCan Coffee drenched in hand sanitizer donations



When it rains, it pours hand sanitizer.

After the Must Read Alaska story about one business’ struggle to cope with an impossible government COVID-19 regulation, Alaskans stepped up to help.

The back story: Jason Floyd and his family had lost their other small business lines of income due to the various government restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. There would be no peony market this year, and the 4-H contract to manage the exchange student program was cancelled. Piano and voice lessons, which were Michele Floyd’s income stream, are now verboten by government order.

But when they learned they had to have hand sanitizer at the door of their AmmoCan Coffee Shop, they were at a loss — no one had any available in Soldotna. They were on the brink of closing the doors, business had been so difficult for the past several weeks of government-mandated shutdown.

They read the regulations and the penalties were clear: They could go to prison if they did not comply with the hand-sanitizer rule.

Soon, however, the coveted product came flying in the door. Friends of the Floyds answered the call and brought them so much hand sanitizer that “I could have filled a swimming pool with it,” Floyd said. “My phone has been blowing up with people wanting to bring some over.”

A pharmacist in Anchorage who heard about the plight of the business called a pharmacist in Soldotna and asked him to help out. That was the first ray of hope for the Floyds, and that’s when everything turned around. They were told to come over with a gallon jug and fill it up with gloppy virus-killing elixir that the pharmacist was making by the vat.

Then, in typical Alaska style, a private pilot flew a box of the product in from the Eagle River area. Ken McCarty loaded up his plane on Saturday and flew out of the Birchwood Airport, landing in Kenai. He was met by Floyd, who promised him a cup of coffee, hand delivered.

By Saturday night, Floyd was telling good-hearted hand sanitizer donors to look around and see if any other business they care about could use it, because he had more than AmmoCan can reasonably use in a month, and lots of businesses were in the same boat.

Soon after that, Floyd learned that the State of Alaska had suddenly cancelled the health mandate that restaurants have to have hand sanitizer in the entry.

While AmmoCan Coffee was getting set up by Alaskans to meet the regulations, the regulation itself was being shelved.

[Read: Order that hit restaurants hard pulled back]

The GoFundMe page set up by Must Read Alaska to Save AmmoCan Coffee has also helped keep the shop from going broke. Participants have raised over $7,300 for the little coffee shop on the Kenai Peninsula.

The Floyds have been overwhelmed with the support they received from people they’ve never even met, as well as the hundreds of well-wishers who came by and called to promise them they’d come by and get some coffee. Floyd said his family was the subject of a lot of heartfelt prayer, as well. He accepted all of the help with humility and gratitude.

“This is why I love Alaska so much,” Floyd said. “This is what Alaska is all about — taking care of each other.”

The first check for $3,000 from the GoFundMe campaign has already been sent to the the Floyds; the second check will go out this week, with what this writer hopes is enough to save a family business from ruin by getting them through the next couple of months of economic disaster.

The coffee shop, run by the entire family, doesn’t fit the mold for the SBA government loans — and those have been hard to come by even for those who do fit the mold.

But the Must Read Alaska readership came through to give back to a family that has been “paying it forward” for years in their community.

Read the original story here:


  1. A real sob story perpetrated by an ” evil government” turns out good!! Thanks to you Suzanne for very emotional but true ( except the evil part) reporting.

  2. Well, Ken is a man of his word and flew right down to help out…guys like that are hard to find these days.
    Nice job Suzanne for bringing the issue to light and potentially helping the administration to see the unnecessary burden it created.
    All in all it sounds like the crew at Ammo Can are in a much better situation now and that makes everyone feel better!

  3. What is desperately needed for some of these hard to get items that are now being mandated, is a some sort of equivalencies list. For example, what item can pass for another or be a suitable substitute given the difficulty, even in normal situation, or procuring these items. But to have your business sidelined because you can’t get a case of sanitizer? Or you can’t cut hair because your cloth mask isn’t a surgical mask? This seems like madness to me. I would have to think-There is a way to mitigate, even to these extremes, and still be flexible enough to give people time to make do with that they have until the markets are flooded with these “mandatory” supplies and equipment.

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