BIDC gives TCWW grant

April 24, 2017

Brownfield Industrial Development Corp. was one of the earliest supporters of Texas Custom Wine Works when the one-of-a-kind business chose to locate here in 2013.

On Monday, the BIDCorp board voted unanimously to continue that support as the business looks to expand.

Following a lengthy executive session, the board approved an incentive package worth $165,000 to cover the costs of infrastructure that will facilitate significant growth at the local winery and crusher.

TCWW made headlines two years ago by purchasing all wine making and storage equipment from Caprock Winery in Lubbock.

Since that time, the local business has used the equipment at its current Lubbock location, but TCWW will now move the large storage tanks and bottling line to its location on the southwest corner of Brownfield.

“We want to get lean and mean and this will help us better utilize our staff and refine our process,” said Mike Sipowicz, director of wine making at TCWW. “We appreciate BIDCorp’s help since we first began and we are excited to take this next step and continue to expand our company.”

The incentive will come in the form of a $40,000 grant and a $120,000 no-interest loan to be paid back over five years.

BIDCorp executive director David Partlow said his board has had a positive relationship with TCWW from the start and is glad to continue to promote their success.

He said the loan is a first for BIDCorp, but the board was glad to offer the assistance at no interest.

“I reminded them in the meeting that we are not a bank and we are not in this to make a profit,” he said. “Our objective is to create jobs and help new and existing businesses grow. What TCWW is doing now will create about six new jobs.”

The grant and loan will cover the cost of concrete and electrical work as presented in a preliminary project budget.

Moving the equipment to Brownfield will almost quadruple the tank space TCWW has, to just shy of 250,000 gallons on site.

“For what we are doing, bigger is better and bigger is smarter, so we need the space to handle the larger and larger grape crops we’re harvesting locally each year,” Sipowicz said.

In addition to the tank space, the second bottling line that will be added will greatly increase TCWW’s output.

The current line, while capable of handling more shapes and sizes of bottles, can complete 1,200 bottles per hour, while the machine being added can put out 4,200 per hour.

The bottling lines fill the bottles, cork or cap them, and label the bottles before they are packaged and crated for shipping.

Sipowicz said there has been a learning curve in some aspects of TCWW’s business model over its first few years, but this planned expansion is evidence of the company’s success.

“Our reputation is growing along with Terry County’s reputation,” he said. “The quality of wine we are able to produce, using the quality of grapes that Terry County vineyards produce is gaining attention around the world. We are winning the biggest wine competitions out there with wines grown and made right here in Brownfield, Texas. That is a big deal.”

In other business, BIDCorp approved several grants to local businesses for visible improvements.

Earning $10,000 grants were Steve Haralson, Forever Fitness, and AdVenture Marketing. Bush’s Chicken was awarded $60,000 for utilities work at its new location on the Lubbock Highway.

Next Door Rental was given $5,000 for its new location on Seagraves Highway.

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