Cider Corner: What to Watch for When Switching Locations

Akin to a search for the Holy Grail, Stephen Schuurman of Winchester Ciderworks was on a mission.

After Schuurman bought out the company from his business partner, he began to look for a new home immediately. His partner owned the building and Schuurman was renting from them and he wanted to start anew.

“My need for a new location was increased when my neighbor turned the water off to the cidery, as our well was on her property,” he told Brewer. “This was obviously a shocking development and nothing we could do would get her to turn it back on, so it meant we had to expedite our search.”

The process of finding a new location for the Virginia cidery, whether to rent or buy, turned into the equivalent of searching for that Holy Grail he said.

“There are so many places to look at but most need a lot of money being spent on, location is wrong, we can’t afford it, etc.,” Schuurman said.

The cidery has since located a property and Schuurman thought that if his issues of having no water were time consuming, “then I had no idea of the road ahead.

“Moving is terribly stressful and costly,” he said. “The key to making it run smoothly is getting quotes from as many construction companies, architects, engineers, design professionals, and rigging companies to move tanks and equipment as possible.”

Creating a timeline and making sure the relevant professionals remain in close contact with each other is important so you are all on the same page.

READ MORE: Cider Corner: 3 Things to Consider When Shopping for New Locations

“This in turn should lead to greater communication with the Zoning/Building departments and they get the correct paperwork and on time,” he added. “This will save a lot of time and money in the long run.”

Schuurman’s advice would be to get with your City/County Zoning and Building Officers and let them know what you are planning along with your timeline and ask for any relevant information from them at an early point in the move.

“For however long you think the process of moving will take, it will always take longer,” he cautioned.

Also, make sure you have an architect who can get you up to all building codes and zoning, as well as having access to engineers who can ensure all the correct paperwork has been filed promptly,

“It is critical to get everything squared away with Zoning and Planning early as it can get expensive going back and forth with your design team and engineers,” Schuurman said. “Most of the time you will be applying for a Change of Use permit, which can be relatively straightforward if you have prepared for all eventualities and then some.”

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