Traverse City Whiskey Co. to launch $20M expansion, redevelop abandoned Cherry Growers Co-Op near TC

What’s happening: Traverse City Whiskey Company is expanding its operations in northern Michigan, redeveloping the abandoned Cherry Growers Co-Op cherry processing facility in Elmwood Township as a state-of-the-art distilling facility. The redevelopment is being touted as the first-of-its-kind in Michigan, an approximately $20 million investment that will create nearly 100 jobs in the region.

What’s planned: The new facility will help Traverse City Whiskey Company meet demand for its fast-growing business, a rapid growth that resulted in TCWC outsourcing some of its production to out-of-state facilities. The new facility will not only allow TCWC to meet its own production demands, but also offer other craft whiskey distillers the opportunity to utilize the facilities for their own growing brands. In addition to their planned state-of-the-art production facility, TCWC will build administrative offices, a visitor center and tasting room, and indoor and outdoor hospitality spaces.

Who they are: Traverse City Whiskey Company was founded in downtown Traverse City in 2012. The whiskey and bourbon distillery has since grown to offer premium cocktail cherries, which are sold nationwide. A second tasting room, The Outpost, opened in downtown Ferndale in 2019.

How they’re doing it: On the strength of its investment and jobs creation, the $20 million expansion is being supported by a $750,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant. The northern Michigan expansion won out over a competing site in Michigan City, Indiana. Elmwood Township has also offered a property tax abatement in support of the project. 

What they’re saying: “We're thrilled to break ground on this incredible new facility and are grateful to the State of Michigan for investing in our future which will allow us to expand operations and exclusively produce our award-winning whiskey right here in our hometown of Traverse City,” says Chris Fredrickson, Co-Founder and President, TCWC. “Our new headquarters will be an all-encompassing campus that will provide a unique immersion in whiskey culture and industry, and will add a new experience to the thriving Northern Michigan agritourism industry. It will provide numerous jobs and attract new and returning visitors to our beautiful region. We can't wait to welcome our friends into our new home.”

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