$8.3 million MCP expansion filling former Remington site

Published Wednesday, July 25, 2018

$8.3 million MCP expansion filling former Remington site

BY SHELLEY BYRNE sbyrne@mayfield-messenger.com 

Fifty-two full-time jobs and an $8.3 million community investment are coming to Mayfield and Graves County with the expansion of a local candle factory into the former Remington plant.

The Propes family, owner of Mayfield Consumer Products, announced the expansion along with economic development officials and city, county and state leaders Tuesday.

The Propeses retained MCP after divesting their interests in MVP Group International a few years ago to focus on the contract candle business. They manufacture the candles for several brands worldwide.

MCP will use $5.55 million of the investment for the purchase and renovation of Hickory Pointe, the former Remington site in the Hickory Industrial Park. The building will be used to create painted jar candles, wrap-around candle labeling and eventually a new service that will allow customers to order candles labeled with pictures they upload online.

The company will also expand its existing operation on Industrial Drive with a more than $2.77 million investment that will create 17 new employees.

"We are excited about the growth that MCP has been blessed with," said Troy Propes, the company's chief executive officer, in a news release. "It's a reflection of the dedicated employees that continue to surpass our customers' expectations. We would like to thank our community leadership for their passion and commitment to MCP and Gov. (Matt) Bevin and his economic development team for sharing their vision. As Mayfield/Graves County natives, we are thrilled to remain not only in Kentucky but in western Kentucky!"

MCP was founded in Mayfield in 1998 and currently employs 245 people. Michael Staten, vice president of manufacturing, said he expects MCP to add 50 or more jobs in Mayfield and Graves County in the next few weeks, with 15 of those at the former Remington plant.

Labeling production should begin within a few weeks, Staten said. He anticipated adding 40 to 50 new jobs at the facility in 2019. Work painting glass jars for candles should begin in the first quarter of 2019, he said. He anticipated the custom picture labeling to come online next summer. Customers will be able to upload pictures and order candles at mycandle.com/kentucky with orders shipping out 12 to 24 hours later.

Remington Outdoor Company closed its Hickory factory in July 2016, and Graves County Economic Development announced in March that it had acquired it to begin marketing it. The 81,900-square-foot facility sits on roughly 25 acres.

Propes said the company was courted by other communities for its expansion.

"This has been a roller coaster ride, but I would be a fool to say that although our hearts were here we had a lot of people pulling at us in a lot of different directions," he said.

Ultimately, he said, "That's why we're so thrilled to be able to do this right here in our hometown."

To encourage the investment and job growth in the community, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority preliminarily approved the company for tax incentives up to $700,000 in April through the Kentucky Business Investment program. Thirty-five of the 52 projected jobs were incentivized as part of the investment. In May, KEDFA preliminarily approved the company for an additional $300,000 for Phase 2 of the project and the remaining job creation. The performance-based incentive allows a company to keep a portion of its investment over the agreement term through corporate income tax credits and wage assessments by meeting job and investment targets.

MCP will also have access to the Kentucky Skills Network, through which they can receive no-cost recruitment and job placement services, reduced-cost customized training and job training incentives.

Propes looked back at the company's creation in his remarks. His mother, Mary Propes, is the former director of the Mayfield/Graves County Chamber of Commerce. She founded a lamp business on U.S. 45 north of Mayfield, but got into the candle business accidentally when financing a building in Bowling Green for company expansion. Part of the deal was that she had to clean the building out, and part of it was filled with baby food jars.

"We couldn't afford to throw them away, so my mom had the great idea to make them into candles," he said. Now, he said, the business creates 75 million candles a year and, with the expansion, will be able to raise that number to 150 million candles a year. Several leaders made remarks during the announcement ceremony Tuesday. "What a great opportunity to have this facility resurrected and working again," state Sen. Stan Humphries said.

Bevin also congratulated the company. Although he did not attend the ceremony, he said in a statement, "Mayfield Consumer Products has been a great employer and strong corporate citizen for the past 20 years, and we are grateful for the company's decision to continue expanding here in Kentucky. These 52 jobs will provide a significant boost to the local economy, and returning a dormant facility to operation is an added bonus of this exciting venture. Congratulations to MCP and the people of Graves County on this growing partnership."

Graves County Judge-Executive Jesse Perry noted that the Propes family could have located the facility anywhere in the world but chose to do it in their hometown.

"It is a happy day in Graves County," he said. "You don't always get happy days. ”¦ We're not talking about anything closing. We're expanding."

Graves County Economic Development President Ryan Drane noted that the project is good for the entire area.

He said, "It certainly says a lot about west Kentucky when we come to celebrate because we know we are one region and not separated by arbitrary county lines."