Bendt Distilling Co. of Lewisville makes hand sanitizer for DFW first responders

Bendt Distilling Co. is making free hand sanitizer for the community and first responders. (Courtesy Bendt Distilling Co.)
Bendt Distilling Co. is making free hand sanitizer for the community and first responders. (Courtesy Bendt Distilling Co.)

Bendt Distilling Co. is making free hand sanitizer for the community and first responders. (Courtesy Bendt Distilling Co.)

Image description
The distillery has already provided the Lewisville Police Department with dozens of bottles of hand sanitizer. (Courtesy Bendt Distilling Co.)
Updated 5:20 p.m. April 10

Bendt Distilling Co. is temporarily closed to the public. All hand sanitizer made by the distillery is now being donated to Dallas County Emergency Services.

Published 8:30 p.m. March 18

As local cases of the novel coronavirus continue to emerge, a distillery in the heart of Old Town Lewisville is making free hand sanitizer for the community to try to help slow spread of the disease.

Bendt Distilling Co. first began making hand sanitizer a few weeks ago when the company’s owners, Natasha and Ryan DeHart, could not find any in stores or online for its staff.


As sanitizer became harder and harder to find and local concern over stopping the spread of coronavirus reached a peak, the pair decided to start making the mixture to give to the community for free.

Though supplies are limited, community members can get one bottle of hand sanitizer each at the distillery from noon to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

“I know that things are scary right now, but just seeing the people that walk into the distillery and pick up a free bottle of hand cleaner, and the smile that it brings to them and the hope that you see on their faces is absolutely everything that we need to keep doing this,” Natasha said.

Natasha said her staff will make more sanitizer for the community as additional shipments of bottles arrive, but for now her priority is to make hand sanitizer for local first responders.

“We're going to do our very best to support all of our local first responders and are looking at making more and making it in much larger batches than we have before,” she said.

The Lewisville Police Department has already received a few dozen bottles of hand sanitizer for officers. Natasha said after receiving a request, the distillery has started working on making more to give to first responders in Dallas County.

Bendt is also supplying hand sanitizer for the approximately 400 Meals on Wheels volunteers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Controls and Prevention officially recommends hand sanitizer be comprised of at least 60% alcohol for it to be effective in neutralizing germs.

When coming up with the recipe for Bendt’s hand sanitizer, Natasha said the staff made sure to follow the CDC’s guidelines and ensured their mixture contained 70% alcohol.

After she heard Shine Distillery & Grill in Portland, Oregon, had also been making hand sanitizer for the public, Natasha called the owner to get advice for the recipe, which includes essential oils and xanthan gum to mask the smell of the alcohol.

“She was extremely helpful and shared her experience on what they've been doing,” Natasha said. “They gave me a little direction on how much to expect that we would need and she said that we needed to prepare for the masses—she was right. I thought that she was underestimating what we would have in small Lewisville. But we underestimated how much this would grow.”

Bendt Distillery is fully funding the production of the hand sanitizer. Though the business will keep producing the product for as long as it can, the demand has risen more than ever expected, and with it, so has the cost.

“I don't think that my husband or I expected to spend more than $1,000 on this project and it has exponentially gone above that,” Natasha said. “And we absolutely want to do it. We see a need in the community and we want to help fill it.”

She said the distillery will accept donations from members of the community who would like to help keep the effort going.

Along with dozens of other local businesses, the distillery is suffering from a lack of business due to the coronavirus. The business has temporarily shut down its entire front end business, which is what funds Bendt's employees.

“Right now we have about half of our staff because the staff that runs the front-of-house do not have hours,” Natasha said. “So for all intents and purposes, they're unemployed. And, of course, the second that we open back up, we want them to come back in and work for us.”

The business will recover, but right now it is a struggle, she said.

“Our staff has become our family and now they're struggling,” Natasha said. “This is really a devastating blow for us. It's something that we know we'll come back from, but things are not easy for any of our staff, or, really, for us as a company right now.”

Natasha said anyone in the community who is in a position to help support the distillery and its staff can do so by purchasing a gift card online. Gift cards will be mailed and 10% of their cost will go directly to staff. The distillery’s website also has a button people can click to donate directly to the staff.

“We just want everyone to stay healthy,” Natasha said. “We appreciate the community and we'll keep doing this as long as we can.”

By Anna Herod
Anna Herod covers local government, education, business and the environment as the editor of Community Impact Newspaper's Lewisville/Flower Mound/Highland Village edition. In the past, Anna served as the reporter for Community Impact's San Marcos/Buda/Kyle paper. Her bylines have appeared in the Austin American-Statesman, Hays Free Press and The Burleson Star. She is a graduate of Texas State University's School of Journalism and Mass Communication.


MOST RECENT

The business opened in the Richardson Heights Shopping Center 16 years ago. (Makenzie Plusnick/Community Impact)
ROUNDUP: How DFW businesses are faring amid COVID-19

Here are 10 recent updates on the metroplex business and restaurant community, with stories on new businesses opening, old businesses struggling, owners making innovations and more.

In April, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced that independent, freestanding ERs in Texas and several other states can be recognized health care providers eligible for reimbursement for treating Medicaid and Medicare patients during the coronavirus pandemic. (Cherry He/Community Impact Newspaper)
Freestanding ERs in Texas can now care for Medicaid, Medicare patients during pandemic

In April, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced that independent, freestanding ERs in Texas and several other states can be recognized health care providers eligible for reimbursement for treating Medicaid and Medicare patients during the coronavirus pandemic.

Mimi Conner (right) unloads food from her car after picking up nonperishable foods from the North Texas Food Bank and purchasing foods from Aldi, with help from volunteer Michelle Leavitt. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
North Texas Food Bank says new donation will provide 300,000 meals for residents in need

The North Texas Food Bank received a $100,000 donation from online retailer Amazon as the nonprofit continues to provide meals for residents in need.

The state-run testing program is expected to return to other areas of Collin County on a rotating basis every two weeks, according to a May 14 release from Collin County. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Expanded testing, population growth in Frisco and 3 other DFW-area stories

Here are five recent updates from the Dallas-Fort Worth area, on a butcher shop in Keller, expanded COVID-19 testing in Collin County and more.

Here are the latest coronavirus updates for Denton County. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
30th Denton County resident dies due to coronavirus, 17 new cases confirmed

Denton County Public Health announced May 22 that a Carrollton woman in her 60s has died due to COVID-19, bringing the county’s total number of coronavirus-related deaths to 30.

texas-reopening
LIST: What is open, closed in Texas and how businesses can operate

Texas openings are staggered with different opening dates and operating limits.

All patients, residents and staff at Texas' 23 state hospitals and supported living centers are to be tested for coronavirus. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas to test all state hospitals, supported living centers for COVID-19

All patients, residents and staff at Texas' 23 state hospitals and supported living centers will be tested for coronavirus regardless of symptoms or exposure.

In a letter addressed to state agencies and higher education institutions, Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and House Speaker Dennis Bonnen said the reduced budget comes in preparation to the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on state finances expected to be felt in the coming months. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Budget cuts slated for Texas state agencies, higher education institutions in 2020-21 biennium

Texas state agencies and institutions of higher education to expect a 5% reduction in budget plans for the 2020-21 biennium as part of the state's response to the economic ramifications of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The populations of Lewisville, Flower Mound and Highland Village experienced slight growth from 2018 to 2019, according to estimates released May 20 by the U.S. Census Bureau. (Courtesy Fotolia)
DATA: Census estimates show slight population growth in Lewisville, Flower Mound, Highland Village

The populations of Lewisville, Flower Mound and Highland Village experienced slight growth from 2018 to 2019, according to estimates released May 20 by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Here are the coronavirus updates to know in Denton County. (Community Impact staff)
29th Denton County resident dies due to coronavirus, 27 new cases confirmed

Denton County Public Health announced May 21 that another Denton County resident has died due to COVID-19, bringing the county’s total number of coronavirus-related deaths to 29.

Gov. Greg Abbott is waiving the late fee for Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission license and permit renewals that have lapsed since March 13, according to a May 20. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Gov. Abbott removes late-fee barrier for Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission license, permit renewal

Gov. Greg Abbott is allowing the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission to waive the late fee for license and permit renewals that have lapsed since March 13, according to a May 20 press release.