Chapman’s Cider Co. setting up shop

March 19th, 2013

News Coverage:

Homegrown brewery given abatements

Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 12:00 am | Updated: 5:26 am, Tue Mar 19, 2013.

By Jennifer Decker

ANGOLA — A homegrown brewing company was given the approval to move its investment forward through tax abatements at Monday’s Angola Common Council meeting.

Chapman’s Cider Co., 300 Industrial Drive, requested the tax abatements and hopes to capitalize on the beverage industry.

Chapman’s will be located in an economic revitalization area. It will be in a building co-owned by Steven and Janet Garman, who are part owners of the brewing company.

The tax abatements will be for a six-year term on $150,000 in real property improvements and $400,000 on new manufacturing equipment for 10 years.

The registered agent for Chapman’s is Scott Fergusson, who is dean of the Ketner School of Business at Trine University. The company was borne out of the entrepreneurial program at Trine last year.

In an abatement application to the city, the Garmans stated their building improvements will support the company’s cider production including adding to the building new walls and electrical and mechanical upgrades. Once the improvements are made, it’s estimated the company could add eight jobs with an average salary of $46,600. It already has brought in professionals from the brewing industry to start the operation, Fergusson said, starting with a brew master from Michigan.

“If we’re able to produce the highest quality cider and meet delivery commitments, our workforce in Angola will easily double in a few short years,” Fergusson said.

Angola Mayor Dick Hickman — who was not at Monday’s meeting — said in a news release that he wanted to invest in Chapman’s, but avoided doing so because of a conflict of interest.

“They have no problem finding investors in the business from Angola and the region. Scott and the management team are doing a great job to ensure the success of this venture,” Hickman said.

Dan Caruso, Angola businessman, is a partner in the venture and represented Chapman’s at the meeting.

“We view this as a commitment to you,” Caruso told council.

“I’m thrilled you’re here and going to be successful,” Councilmember Kathy Armstrong said to Caruso.

The manufacturing equipment added will be for brewing and fermenting equipment for a 100-barrel capacity. Fergusson said earlier while the focus currently is cider, other brewed products — such as beer — are not out of the realm of possibility.

Categories New Businesses