Kinston, a former textile and tobacco town 90 miles east of Raleigh, will add another attraction to its growing roster of eateries with the establishment of a craft distillery by Social Beverage Co.
The Raleigh-based company plans to create 34 jobs and invest $5.8 million in the project. If it meets its hiring and investment targets, it will qualify to receive a $68,000 grant from the One North Carolina Fund and matching local grants.
The company plans to revitalize a historic property in Kinston and produce a “farm-to-flask” liquor called Social House Vodka.
Social Beverage president Cary Joshi could not be reached for comment. In October, the company reported it raised $400,000 through a private stock offering.
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In addition to the One North Carolina Fund grant, the N.C. Rural Infrastructure Authority approved a $200,000 grant for renovations to the currently vacant building that Social Beverage will occupy. It’s one of more than two dozen economic development project projects across the state that recently received grants totaling $8.7 million from the authority.
Those grants are expected to lead to the creation of 1,183 jobs.
The grants approved by the authority range from $25,000 to support renovating a vacant building in Harnett County for a butcher shop that will feature organic meats to a $1.5 million grant to Siler City to provide expanded wastewater service to poultry processor Mountaire Farms, which is adding 700 jobs.
The 26 grants were announced by the office of Gov. Pat McCrory. Since the state-funded Rural Infrastructure Authority was created in 2013, the 15 members of the authority have approved grants totaling about $128 million to develop infrastructure, renovate and expand buildings and improve sites.
“Business-ready buildings, water and sewer systems and industrial access are among the prerequisites for success in today’s economy,” McCrory said in a statement.
The new grants – some of which will support previously announced economic development projects and whose job totals aren’t included in the Rural Infrastructure Authority’s tally of job creation – include the following in the greater Triangle and Eastern North Carolina:
▪ Beaufort County: $337,000 to upgrade water service for Hysucat USA, a manufacturer of inflatable boats that is adding 10 jobs in Bath.
▪ Craven County: $195,000 to provide industrial access to an additional 100 acres at Craven County Industrial Park, which already is the site of several of the county’s largest employers. The grant supports a total investment of $260,815 in the park.
▪ Robeson County: $500,000 to extend wastewater service to Pepsi Bottling Ventures’ new $16.5 million distribution center that will employ 250 workers.
▪ Siler City in Chatham County: $1.5 million for expanded wastewater service to Mountaire, a Delaware company that has operations at five sites across the state. Mountaire has committed to invest $70 million in the expansion.
▪ Franklin County: $500,000 to support the expansion of K-Flex USA, an insulation manufacturer that is adding 100 jobs. Total project investment: $16.75 million.
▪ Granville County: $499,190 for renovation of a building in Creedmoor, where power cord manufacturer Stay Online is adding 50 jobs. Total project investment: $1 million.
▪ Greene County: $55,000 for renovation of a Snow Hill building where Home Elevator and Lift Products, which makes service elevators and cargo lifts, is adding 17 jobs. Total project investment: $112,000.
▪ Duplin County: $30,000 for reuse of a vacant Warsaw building that agricultural technology company Vantage South Atlantic will occupy. Vantage South plans to create three jobs. Total project investment: $60,000.
▪ Dunn in Harnett County: $25,000 for reuse of a building that will be occupied by Organic Butcher Shop. Total project investment: $173,000.
▪ Lee County: $75,000 for reuse of a Sanford building. Seal It Services, a producer of repair tape, is relocating from Florida to the building and expects to create 15 jobs. Total project investment: $865,000.
▪ Lenoir County: Three grants totaling $362,500 that will support reusing vacant buildings. In addition to Social Beverage Co., the craft distillery, the buildings will be occupied by Midtown Motor Lodge, which is adding 10 jobs, and craft brewer Mother Earth Brewing, which is adding five jobs. Total investment for the three projects: nearly $8 million.