British Columbia

Timber Kings' reality TV star behind B.C. mill using pulp to make medical garments

Bryan Reid is known for building custom log homes on his HGTV reality show Timber Kings, and he’s also in the business of pulp — cedar pulp used to make medical garments,an effort critical during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Harmac Pacific increases production of special pulp used in medical masks, gowns

Timber Kings' reality TV star Bryan Reid owns Harmac Pacific pulp mill in Nanaimo, B.C. His mill is focused, for the moment, on using a specialized pulp to churn out medical masks and gowns. (HGTV Canada)

Bryan Reid is known for building custom log homes on his HGTV reality show Timber Kings, and he's also in the business of pulp — a specialized type of pulp that has become extremely useful over the past few weeks.

Cedar pulp, made by Harmac Pacific in Nanaimo, B.C., is critical for creating medical garments such as gowns and masks used in hospitals all over North America. 

"Building log homes … we surely can't help the world in this pandemic," Reid told Daybreak Kamloops host Shelley Joyce. 

"By gosh what we're doing with [the pulp] … I think it will go a long ways, not just in Canada but the U.S. too."

Cedar pulp is being produced by Harmac Pacific, owned by Timber Kings star Bryan Reid, to make medical garments. (Stock Photography)

Each year, the company spends about a months worth of production making this special pulp. But this year, the demand for these kinds of items is, of course, high.

"There's quite a call for medical garments for the pandemic," Reid said.  "And also I think they need some in reserve. They don't know what the requirements are going to be. So I think it's to be safe rather than sorry."

Reid came into possession of the company in 2008, when the previous owners were facing bankruptcy. 

"We didn't really want to go in to the pulp business because as a rule it's a commodity and we're not in the commodity business. We're in the custom home business and we get to control our own destiny," Reid said. 

Initially, they wanted to buy the facility so they could have the power plant that was on-site, but the employees talked Reid and his business partners into continuing on as a pulp mill. 

Bryan Reid and the Timber Kings were usually known for building custom log homes, like this one. (Sotheby's Realty)

"The employees are the backbone of the operation," he said. "They truly are."

Reid said employees are making pulp 24 hours a day right now, and although they'd probably prefer to be home with their loved ones, they're happy to be at work. 

"It's very gratifying," he said. 


If you have a COVID-19-related story we should pursue that affects British Columbians, please email us at impact@cbc.ca. 

With files from Shelley Joyce

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