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Craft Distillery switches production to make hand sanitizer in Cape Coral

Posted at 2:11 PM, Mar 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-25 14:11:41-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — They've made their name in the community as a craft distillery since 2011.

Now Wicked Dolphin Craft Distillery is becoming known for something else - making hand sanitizer to protect people from viruses that could harm their health.

Owner JoAnne Elardo says it's been a tough month for the business which is still open.

"March is usually our biggest month, " she says.

"But it's been severely, severely cut."

She says the dramatic drop-off in the number of customers has left them reeling financially.

They have about 50 employees and had to close the restaurant portion of their business.

But their retail shop is still open!

They've adapted to the limitations of the coronavirus pandemic by limiting the number of people allowed into the building on SW 3rd Place to just 10 at a time.

They're also relying on sales of their products in some bigger chains like ABC Fine Wine & Spirits and Total Wine & More.

In the meantime, they've decided to use some of their ingredients to make small bottles of sanitizer.

When Fox 4 visited, an employee named Matt was mixing up a batch.

"We giving it away to first responders, and hospital staff along with the public," he says.

The bottles are small and the total quantity is limited, so the folks at Wicked Dolphin say they know it won't be enough to meet all the demand these days.

But they say they want to do what they can.

They're also making the reverse osmosis water they generate available to public for those who can't find it in local stores.

In the meantime, they want Southwest Florida to know they're open for business and would love to see you coming through their doors - while maintaining social distancing of course!