It’s anything but business as usual these days at Surrey’s Vital Manufacturing Inc.
The manufacturing company — which typically builds machinery for industrial clients in the food-service sector — has partnered with other local businesses to pivot its production and output since March, when the the novel coronavirus pandemic started to impact North America. The company’s president Joshua Bradshaw says he wanted to help both food-service workers and their customers stay safe.
The result? The Cap Shield, a wearable barrier that can be attached to hats or visors via custom-made clips.
“We would go through drive-thrus, looking inside restaurant kitchens; we would notice that almost everybody in there was already wearing a ballcap, but they had no protection between their face and the food they were preparing for us,” he said.
“We saw a need for a product there, and we started getting to work on that.”
Initially invented with restaurants in mind, Bradshaw says the Cap Shield can be used in all kinds of business settings.
“We’ve had clients from all different industries contacting us, including dental offices, salons, industrial clients of all kinds. It’s really quite diverse and it works for almost every industry,” he said.
The gear is not meant to be used in the health-care sector, as the hats and visors needed for the Cap Shield to be mounted can’t be guaranteed to meet sanitation guidelines in a medical setting — although the invention could help when it comes to supply of conventional, non-medical masks, which are worn by employees in many professional settings. The Cap Shield is being marketed as a more durable, and personable, way to protect both employees and customers.
Bradshaw says the company has already received and started filling orders for the Cap Shield, which is patent-pending. And he and his business partners envision the innovation could be a “long-term solution” in workplaces going forward — especially in the food service sector.
“We actually don’t see this going away anytime soon,” he said.
“When we think of the chefs or service staff at restaurants and fast-food chains, we don’t see any time where they’re going to decide they don’t need this any longer.”
The creators of Cap Shield say they’ve already received interest in high-volume orders from major corporations — and that means locally-based volunteer and non-profit organizations could benefit, too: Bradshaw says ten percent of all Cap Shield orders sold will be donated to worthy organizations.
The Cap Shield creators are asking any organizations that could benefit from their product to get in touch with them through the company’s website, https://capshield.ca.