There are all kinds of interesting manufacturing businesses tucked away in industrial parks around Naples.
Yes, you read right: Manufacturing. In Naples.
Pelican Wire is one of those exceptional companies that manufactures a product so special that even the Chinese are importing it. In fact, you might say the company is a symbol of skilled American manufacturing. “That’s where we win,” says Ted Bill, Pelican’s president.
Pelican makes insulated and temperature-resistant specialty wires. Employee-owned Pelican sells these wires to manufacturers that make a host of sophisticated products, from electric cars to aircraft and even floor heaters.
Export is a big part of Pelican’s business and Bill estimates selling to Asian and European customers totals about 45% of sales. About 30% to 40% of the company’s sales end up in China, he notes. (Privately held Pelican doesn’t disclose annual sales.)
Pelican Wire has been busy growing in the last two years with the acquisition of Rubadue Wire in Greeley, Colo., in late 2014 and Kerrigan-Lewis Wire Products of Chicago last year. It currently has about 1,200 customers.
The company employs 79 people in Naples and Bill says there’s some room to grow in the 33,000-square-foot facility. To accommodate future growth, Bill says the company could add another 25,000 square feet on an adjacent lot. “We continuously want to grow the business,” says Bill.