By Emily DeCiccio
Published March 26, 2020
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Just one month ago, co-owner of Bendt Distilling Company Natasha DeHart was creating her unique blend of Texas whiskeys at her distillery in Lewisville. Now, she has shifted production entirely to combat the coronavirus and help Dallas County by producing and providing free hand sanitizer to local law enforcement, hospitals and first responders.
“Daily, we have a pick-up from Dallas County and then they're distributing it to all first responders that are in the most need,” DeHart told Fox News. “Right now, it's literally just us providing hand sanitizer to Dallas County.”
DeHart ranks as one of the few female distillery founders and whiskey blenders in the United States, and has worked to elevate the category of blended whiskey.
The coronavirus pandemic stopped DeHart’s business in its tracks and she was forced to cut her workforce in half from 20 employees to 10. Despite the financial setbacks, DeHart is determined to step up for her beloved community and state.
“This is definitely a horrible business decision in the whiskey industry, but for the health and continuity of our community and state, we knew we had to step up,” she said.
Hand sanitizer production has been a huge financial burden for Bendt Distilling and resources are running low. DeHart has accepted two separate donations of grain-neutral spirit from Persedo Spirits in Houston and Sazerac Company in Kentucky, respectively, but those supplies are drying up.
DeHart told Fox News that her distillery will most likely only be able to continue helping the county for another few weeks if it doesn’t get one or two big donors.
“We can't continue to rely on small, family-owned businesses in this area to donate corn and labels and everything that we need to do this on a mass scale for the next month,” DeHart said. “We need one or two big donors, and anyone who is willing and able, and who has a heart for Dallas, the way that we do, please step up, the stakes are too high not to.”