Fort Wayne couple’s pandemic-born business aims to take ‘bite’ out of can cooler market

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — We’ve all probably thought of creating an invention at some point in our lives, but one Fort Wayne couple used their time over the pandemic to actually follow through with it.

“We were doing what everyone was doing last summer, quarantining in our backyard and doing a lot of drinking,” said Gina Thomas. “I was just constantly handing them [drinks] off [to my husband] and we thought there’s got to be a better way for this. There’s got to be something we could be doing.”

The issue wasn’t that Gina couldn’t open the cans herself, it was that she didn’t want to mess up her manicures that she says she spends a lot of time on — which is how Gina and her husband (former WANE 15 anchor Brett Thomas) came up with the idea for the insulated BITE coolers.

“Basically BITE is a koozie,” said Thomas. “But it also opens your beer, or your cans. So, it’s a bottle opener and then also has this tab opener so that you can save your nails. This tab is what started it, and then it went from … if you’re out adventuring or at the beach or what not, you don’t want to bring a bottle opener. It’s different. Nobody else has it.”

The invention’s name comes from the way the tab and bottle openers sit on top of one another, taking on the appearance of a shark’s mouth. There’s also a dip in the lid so taking a sip doesn’t mess up anyone’s lipstick.

While Thomas says BITE wouldn’t have started without the pandemic, COVID-19 has given the couple some hurdles to jump over.

“You start it, you have this great idea, and then the first thing that happened was our mold broke and so that delayed our shipping,” said Thomas. “From there during the pandemic, we had a set date to when we were going to get the product and then that was delayed by three months. So, we had all these preorders that we were wanting to sell and we just were just on pause.”

Luckily, business is getting back on track for the Thomases and now half of their garage is filled with boxes of the coolers.

Thomas said she couldn’t be more excited about it.

“For us, every little sale means so much and our every customer means so much and we so, so appreciate them,” said Thomas. “We put everything into this product, and I just think we value everybody so much.”

As of now, BITE only fits 12 oz. cans, but the goal is to put the design on other sizes, mugs, tumbles and coolers.

Each BITE cooler costs $24.99 but they are currently having 15% off sale.

To learn more about the product and the Thomas’s story click here. BITE coolers can also be found on brookstone.com.

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