Minneapolis protests over the death of African-American George Floyd at the hands of local police have severely damaged Du Nord Craft Spirits, despite the business being labeled as black owned. In response to the destruction at this South Minneapolis business, a Go Fund Me page launched over the weekend with the goal of raising $10,000.
Explaining the result of the damage, owner Chris Montana wrote on the distillery’s Facebook page on May 29:
“Several fires were set inside our warehouse around 2am last night. The fires triggered our fire suppression system which dumped over 26,000 gallons of water inside our facility over 4-4.5 hours. The sprinklers did their job, and kept the fire from destroying the building, but the damage is substantial. The cocktail room was spared as was the original production facility; both were marked as black owned. Du Nord is in the heart of south Minneapolis and on the same block as the police station that has become the epicenter of frustration rising from repeated instances of police brutality—most recently against George Floyd. I knew this was coming, but it still hurts. A heartfelt thank you to everyone who has sent their love. We need time to clean up and find a way forward, and we will communicate as best we can.”
The Go Fund Me page was started by Santiago Mayer, who heard about the harm done at Du Nord Craft Spirits through an interview with Montana on CNN.
In an update to the company’s Facebook on Sunday, Montana thanked those who helped fundraise for the distillery, and posted a link to a Go Fund Me page he and his wife started to help all black- and brown-owned Minneapolis businesses affected by the riots.
“We are not strong unless our community is strong,” Montana writes.