FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 22, 2019
Contact: Mark Geise
JAMESTOWN, N.Y.: – Mark Geise, Deputy County Executive for Economic Development/Chief Executive Officer of the County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency (CCIDA), announced today that the CCIDA Board of Directors has approved an AL Tech RLF loan in the amount of $100,000 to assist Megalomania LLC with real estate acquisition financing in Dunkirk, N.Y. In addition, a CRLF Working Capital Loan, in the amount of $50,000, was approved for Mark Graham d/b/a Graham’s Market in Sherman, N.Y.
Megalomania is a new, unique craft brewery business coming to 85 Lake Shore Dr. W. in Dunkirk, N.Y. in 2020. Cory Clark, the new owner, has identified a niche opening in the growing craft brewery market. He has developed a unique craft brewed alcohol beverage using a proprietary, non-malt derived, clear base alcohol process to create a beverage along the lines of hard sodas and seltzers.
“I am so grateful for the CCIDA, City of Dunkirk, and everyone who has believed in me and my concept,” said Cory. “I’ve worked hard to develop these products and flavors for years, and I can’t wait to share them with the people of Dunkirk and Western New York!”
Cory also has successfully produced and marketed a proprietary non-alcoholic flavored soda beverage. Cory highlighted that he plans to use as much local supply as possible, such as local juice for flavoring and local farms to help supply the restaurant.
The project includes the real estate acquisition of 85 Lake Shore Dr. W. in downtown Dunkirk, a proposed 600 square feet addition, interior renovations, acquisition and installation of brewing tanks and equipment, refrigeration, fruit processing equipment, kitchen and cooking equipment, tables, chairs, décor, bathroom facilities, electrical update, plumbing upgrade, HVAC upgrade, and updates for curb appeal. The brewery will provide a new alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage brewing and processing location as well as a new gathering place in the city. Initially, the business will produce, package and sell beverages for final consumption along with specialty foods in-house. Eventually, Cory hopes to distribute his product through local and regional connections. Souvenirs will also be available for purchase.
Megalomania is projected to create 12 to 15 new full-time equivalent jobs. This new tourist destination will also extend the Lake Erie Wine Country of wineries, breweries, and distilleries into the City of Dunkirk for the first time. Cory anticipates the new business will attract a significant number of visitors. Marketing efforts will work in conjunction with the New York Brewer’s Association and Buffalo Brewer’s Association to become part of the New York and Buffalo Beer scenes. Proximity to Interstate Route 90, U.S. Route 20, and N.Y. Route 5 between Buffalo, N.Y. and Erie, Pa., provides an opportunity to attract people who might normally pass through.
Project development has been led by Mayor Wilfred Rosas and City of Dunkirk Development Director Rebecca Wurster, with outreach to the CCIDA for financial support. The new business is also consistent with the existing character of the neighborhood, which includes a mix of residential, commercial, tourism, and a neighboring social club. The needed infrastructure is also in place to support the development.
Renovations could begin as early as November, after the real estate closing. The grand opening is projected for June 2020, which is pending Federal and State licensing and permitting, and the commencement of alcohol production.
Mark Graham d/b/a Graham’s Market and his family have been in the small grocery business for three generations. Graham has been trying to acquire the market for the last three years and after extensive contract negations, he was able to reach a purchase agreement with the Mack Family, who were the previous owners.
“It is my desire to utilize my managerial skills, service experience, and previous involvement in the grocery industry to provide the much needed services of a butchery, grocery, and local produce store here in my hometown of Sherman, New York,” said Mark Graham, business owner and applicant. “Having managed my own business for the last 38 years, I have developed skills in dealing with the public, overseeing employees, and managing stock.”
Graham’s Market was originally opened in 1969 in Sherman, and was previously known as a Quality Market. The business ran successfully for 30 years, but unfortunately had to close due to Penn Traffic’s bankruptcy. In 2004, Jeff and Jody Mack purchased and ran the market until 2018, when it closed due to personal reasons. Since its shutdown, Sherman has been considered a “food desert” with the closest stores offering fresh produce over 9 miles away. With a large population of senior citizens and young families, all with limited access to transportation, the community is lacking access to nutritional food choices.
Colleen Meeder, Mayor of the Village of Sherman, stated that residents have been urging the Village to take action towards getting the grocery store re-opened. Mark D. Persons, Sherman Town Supervisor, and Debra Sanders, President of the Sherman Chamber of Commerce, also communicated that merchants have noticed a marked decrease in foot and vehicle traffic to local businesses as a result of the closing of the market, which has been a huge detriment to the village.
“I’m thrilled that we could help two small, but very important businesses through our CCIDA resources,” said Geise. “Megalomania will result in the creation of another attraction for residents and visitors, which we need more of in our County, while Graham’s Market addresses a significant need in the Village of Sherman.”
“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy here in Chautauqua County,” said George Borrello, Chautauqua County Executive. “It’s great to see that the CCIDA is supporting these important projects that not only address community needs, but are enhancing our quality of life.”
Any comments or questions regarding this announcement should be addressed to Deputy County Executive for Economic Development/CCIDA Chief Executive Officer, Mark Geise, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The CCIDA is an economic development organization authorized and empowered by the State of New York to make Chautauqua County a better place to work, live, visit, and conduct business. The organization facilitates development by attracting new businesses, while promoting the retention and expansion of existing businesses. Assistance in the form of incentives – tax abatements, low interest loans, and bond financing – enhances the opportunities for job creation and retention for our businesses. For more information visit www.ccida.com.