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July 26, 2017 - Brothers with deep family ties to Hampton plan to open the region’s first hard cider production facility in the historic neighborhood of Phoebus. Gov. Terry McAuliffe made it official Wednesday, noting in a news release that with an investment of more than $500,000, Sly Clyde Ciderworks will do much more than create new jobs.
“Investments like this create jobs, tourism activity, and grows the tax base, while creating new markets for Virginia’s farmers … as craft beverage producers look to them to source apples, hops, fruit, honey and other agricultural products,” McAuliffe said.
As part of Wednesday’s announcement, Virginia Agriculture Secretary Basil Gooden noted that Sly Clyde will get a $30,000 grant from the governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development Fund — which Hampton will match with local funds. Gooden was in Hampton Wednesday to speak at the Sly Clyde news conference and to visit some local businesses.
Sly Clyde is the brainchild of Doug and Tim Smith. Their family has owned the two-story brick house on Mellen Street — which will be home to the new cidery —- since the early 1900s. “We look forward to crafting amazing hard cider in Hampton Roads using Virginia-grown apples,” said Tim Smith, who is also manager of R. Hayden Smith Funeral Home in Hampton. Doug Smith, who is a vice president at the Montpelier Foundation’s Center for the Constitution, said: “We’re just so happy to be part of these economic development stories that are coming out of Phoebus, and out of Hampton almost every day, because we are definitely going to be part of making Phoebus a destination” for diners, tourists and others.
Hampton City Manager Mary Bunting and Mayor Donnie Tuck also spoke at the news conference. Tuck noted that Sly Clyde Ciderworks is a new and unique business that capitalizes on a growing trend of wine fermented from apples instead of grapes. He also thanked the governor, agriculture secretary and others for the valuable economic grants that will help the Smiths get their new venture off the ground.
For more information about Sly Clyde, go to https://governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/newsarticle?articleId=20827. For more information about economic development opportunities in Hampton, go to www.hampton.gov/economicdevelopment.
Mayor Tuck accepts check from Agriculture Secretary Basil Gooden.