Now a northern Michigan whiskey and bourbon maker is planning a major expansion project, thanks in part to funding from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
The Traverse City Whiskey Company is planning on a 20 million dollar investment for building a new facility in Elmwood Township, just across the border in Leelanau County. The expansion will create 100 new jobs, and it’s supported by a grant from the 750-thousand dollar grant from the Michigan Development Program.
It also means a new headquarters for T-C Whiskey. But President and Co-Founder Chris Fredrickson says their current location isn’t going anywhere. “The vision for our company started here at 14th and Cass and over the course of a decade has grown beyond our wildest dreams. With more room and more acreage it’s going to allow us to grow and really scale the business and hopefully put Traverse City on the map even more nationally.”
Rendering Courtesy of TCWC
Traverse City Whiskey will move into an abandoned cherry processing facility and add 100 new jobs to their existing team of 45 employees. They hope to break ground next month and be ready to open late next year. “It’s a very fun thing to be able to one look back at that history and celebrate it and take that existing facility and transform it into something new and wonderful,” Fredrickson says.
TCWC began operating in 2012, when it established its first distillery and bottling plant in downtown Traverse City and produced straight bourbon and innovative cherry whiskey that have become top selling craft whiskeys statewide. At its current facility in Traverse City, the company operates the Stillhouse tasting room that has become a popular destination for tens of thousands of area residents and visitors each year. In 2018, TCWC introduced its premium cocktail cherries which have grown to be the leading premium cocktail cherry nationally, sold in all fifty states. In 2019, it opened its first tasting room in Metro Detroit: The Outpost in Ferndale. TCWC currently employs 45 Michigan residents.
The company’s rapid growth has exceeded its current distilling capacity, which has resulted in a portion of its annual production to be outsourced to out-of-state partners. TCWC has purchased and has begun to repurpose the abandoned Cherry Growers Co-Op cherry processing facility in Traverse City where it will accommodate every step in the production process and meet increasing demand for its products. The first-of-its-kind facility in Michigan will also allow TCWC to offer support to other craft whiskey distillers that are in need of capacity for their own growing brands. It will also include a state-of-the-art traditional rackhouse, dedicated processing and packaging spaces, administrative offices and a visitor center and tasting room, as well as spectacular indoor and outdoor hospitality spaces.
-From the MEDC
Once the facility nears completion, information on careers with TCWC will be available .