New life coming to former Merillat facility

The incentives approved by the Tax Credit Authority in the state capital was another step forward in the pivotal movement of Speyside Bourbon Cooperage, Inc. (SBCI) locating a new cooperage at the former Merillat Cabinet facility on East Main Street in Jackson.

The announcement of the action by the Tax Credit Authority was issued by Ohio Governor John Kasich and State Representative Ryan Smith.

The facility will manufacturer new bourbon barrels using Appalachian white oak. SBCI specializes in refurbishing used barrels for spirit-making, and this new facility will be the first to focus on barrel production for the company. SBCI is a subsidiary of TFF Group USA whose parent company is based in France.

“Speyside Bourbon Cooperage is very excited to be locating in Jackson, Ohio. The location is perfect for us, close to our raw material suppliers while also being close enough to serve our customers. Everyone that we have worked with from the State of Ohio have been very helpful and welcoming, we know that we made the right choice locating here,” said Darren Whitmer, SBCI Site Manager for the new Jackson facility. “We truly look forward to beginning operations here and meeting more of the community and becoming a part of it.”

The SBCI announcement is the result of a cooperative attraction effort between the Jackson County Economic Development Board (JCEDB), City of Jackson, the Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth (APEG), and JobsOhio that saw Ohio and Jackson County placed in competition with Kentucky for the project.

“On behalf of the citizens of Jackson and Jackson County, we are thrilled to have SBCI as part of our community moving forward,” said Jackson Mayor and JCEDB Vice Chair Randy Heath. “This is just another sign that our community is truly worth investing in, and we are grateful for the faith they have showed in us.”

“This collaboration had a vast number of economic development individuals and agencies from Jackson County, our region, JobsOhio, and State Representative Ryan Smith. A tremendous effort that will bring jobs and development to our area. This is great news for us,” said Jackson County Commissioner Paul Haller.

“This is a very positive step forward in developing and strengthening our county’s economy through new jobs and investment. We have a great example with this project of the results of local and regional economic development collaboration,” said JCEDB Executive Director Jennifer Jacobs. “What is really exciting in addition to the jobs is the fact that Jackson County has now foreign direct investment.”

Among other incentives approved was a $175,000 grant from the Southern Ohio Agricultural & Community Development Foundation (SOACDF) for the purchase of machinery and equipment.

The company’s $17.3 million investment will begin soon with the purchase and installation of equipment, which is anticipated to take a year before full production begins. SBCI expects to hire 35-40 individuals by the start of full production in 2016. Details on future employment opportunities will be announced at a later date. OhioMeansJobs – Jackson County will assist SBCI.

JCEDB Board Chair Bobbi Montgomery said, “The SBCI announcement only validates the hard work and dedication of our staff and board members, and as a result 35 people will have the opportunity for fulltime employment.”

From The Telegram News  |  April 30, 2015