Welcome to the Oct. 24 Monday Business Briefing, your private business intelligence digest from Insider Louisville.

Red Hot Roasters opening in new location

Coffee Beans
Red Hot Roasters plans to move to 1007 E. Main St. pending city approvals. | File Photo

Local coffee company Red Hot Roasters will be the newest tenant of Butcherblock, a small mixed-use development on Main Street in the Butchertown neighborhood.

Developer Andy Blieden filed a certificate of appropriateness asking to remove a garage door, windows, rear deck and stairs from the building at 1007 E. Main St. The document indicates that the new tenant will be Red Hot Roasters.

Owner Sondra Powell confirmed that the business plans to move its base of operations to Butchertown. Currently, Red Hot Roasters operates out of a small building attached to the Marathon gas station at the intersection of Lexington Road and Payne Street.

“Back at the first of the year, we were thinking about the future, and Andy’s been a long-time customer of ours as well as he mentioned he had space,” Powell said. “It just seemed like a real nice fit for us, for us to be able to move our roasting operations as well.”

Red Hot Roasters opened in its Lexington Road location in 2006, and this will be its first expansion into a new space. Its headquarters and main roasting operations will be in Butchertown, Powell said, but the company will continue to operate the drive-thru at the Lexington Road store and may have some roasting operations there.

“This neighborhood is changing as well with all the apartment units they are building across from Headliners,” she said. “As long as we can stay in Irish Hill, we want to be a part of this community too.”

Blieden previously told Insider Louisville that he wanted to attract a coffee shop to Butcherblock to complement Hi-Five Doughnuts first brick-and-mortar store, which is expected to open before the end of this year.

Powell said she is looking forward to opening next to Hi-Five Doughnuts, whose owners are friends. “We’ve always liked to work with other businesses if we can do some sort of co-branding,” she said. “I can see this as a little community that all works together.”

While the existing store relies on commuter traffic, the Butchertown location is near other businesses, residences and Lincoln Performing Arts School. It will have “a neighborhood feel,” Powell said, and people can walk to the coffee shop. Customers may even be able to stay awhile.

Once renovated, the Main Street store will have a small cafe space with about 15 vintage metal lawn chairs as well as a covered outdoor patio in the back.

There is a lot of work to be done on the dilapidated former shotgun, but Powell was hopeful that Red Hot Roasters new location will open in early 2017.

“We want to be in there as soon as possible,” she said. —Caitlin Bowling

Manny & Merle rebranding, altering menu after expansion

Manny & Merle's is no more. | Courtesy of Merle's Whiskey Kitchen
Manny & Merle’s is no more. | Courtesy of Merle’s Whiskey Kitchen

This evening, Manny & Merle will no longer be Manny & Merle. The local honky-tonk, known for its tacos and chicken, is rebranding as Merle’s Whiskey Kitchen.

“With the amazing growth along the whiskey row corridor, downtown is fast becoming a top dining and entertainment destination,” Tony Palombino, owner of Merle’s Whiskey Kitchen, said in a news release.

Changes will include a new Southern menu items, a larger outdoor patio space with a firepit and outdoor bar, a larger stage for live performances, more seating indoor for guests and a private dining area. The restaurant was able to expand after neighboring barber shop Big City Styles relocated to 312 W. Chestnut St. in 2015.

For the relaunch, Merle’s Whiskey Kitchen handpicked their very own private barrels from distilleries across the state, including Buffalo Trace, Maker’s Mark, Wild Turkey, Old Forester and Jefferson’s Bourbon.

The restaurant is hosting a VIP kick-off event at 5 p.m. this evening with food samples and a cash bar benefiting Apron, a nonprofit that helps out people in the restaurant industry who are facing a crisis. Merle’s Whiskey Kitchen also will offer specials, giveaways and prizes Tuesday through Thursday. —Caitlin Bowling

Louisville’s 10th Annual Small Business Summit this week

Small Business SummitArea small businesses will have the opportunity to connect with government agencies, educational institutions and large corporations at the 10th Annual Small Business Summit.

All small businesses are welcome, but the summit is geared toward minority-owned, woman-owned, veteran-owned, service disabled veteran-owned companies, as well as businesses in historically underutilized business zones. The format allows attendees to speak with entities in one-on-one sessions and make connects to contract work.

Businesses and organizations attending include: the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; U.S. Department of Commerce; Tennessee Valley Authority; the Commonwealth of Kentucky; Louisville-Jefferson County Metro Government; LG&E; Metropolitan Sewer District; Louisville Water Company; and Jefferson County Public Schools.

Louisville Small Business Development Center and the Kentucky Community and Technical College System are sponsors of the summit.

The event is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 27, at The Olmsted, 3701 Frankfort Ave. Tickets are $25 for one person or $45 for two people. —Caitlin Bowling

Big box home improvement retailer opening second area store

Menards is based out of Wisconsin. | Photo by Albert Herring
Menards is based out of Wisconsin. | Photo by Albert Herring

Menards plans to enter the Louisville market.

The home improvement store, which sells everything from appliances and home decor to paint and hardware, dipped its toes in the market in fall 2015, with a 236,000-square-foot store off Veterans Parkway in Jeffersonville.

Now the Wisconsin-based company is preparing to build a store on 32.5 acres just south of the Gene Snyder Freeway and east of Interstate 65. Menards sent out a letter notifying nearby residents of its plans to develop the property, which sits at the corner of Preston Highway and Cooper Chapel Road.

The store will be slightly smaller than the Jeffersonville one at 207,922 square feet. Plans also called for outlots, which could be filled by additional businesses.

Menards will host a meeting detailing its plans at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 3 at Bethany United Church of Christ at 10400 Old Preston Highway. —Caitlin Bowling

Network and learn from other young professionals at the YP Unite Summit

ypal21c co-founder and CEO, Steve Wilson, will give the keynote speech at the 2016 YP Unite Summit hosted by YPAL on Nov. 4 and 5. Speakers at the event include a mix of entrepreneurs, business leaders and public officials.

The kickoff celebration is at the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience, with cocktails, appetizers, networking and tours on Nov. 4, starting at 6 p.m. The Summit begins the next day with breakfast and networking at 8:15 a.m. at the Genscape HQ in Old Louisville. In addition to panels and breakout sessions, the afternoon includes a bourbon and beer tasting from Brown-Forman and Great Flood Brewing Company.

Speakers include: Tendai Charasika of SuperFanU, Colleen and Maggie Clines of the Anchal Project, Darnell Ferguson of SuperChefs, Jessica Green of Louisville Metro Council District 1 and Mayor Carter Hendricks of Hopkinsville.

Tickets for both Friday and Saturday are $85. If you’d like to just attend the Saturday Summit, tickets are $65.

Some of the events are geared toward leaders of YP programs across the region, most of them would be of interest to any young professional. You don’t have to be a member of any of these programs to attend. —Melissa Chipman

Doe-Anderson expands to Columbus, Ohio; first new branch in 101-year history

Stephen Kauffman | Courtesy of Doe-Anderson
Stephen Kauffman | Courtesy of Doe-Anderson

Even a 101-year old company needs a little shake up once in a while. For this first time in its history, ad agency Doe-Anderson has expanded to a branch office in a new city.

Stephen Kauffman, Doe-Anderson vice president, has been tapped to helm the new Columbus, Ohio office and build a team there. The initial focus of the office is to support the agency’s latest healthcare client, OhioHealth.

Kauffman is an Ohio native with 25 years experience in in brand development, marketing, and planning.

The size of the team is still being determined.

It’s never been our ambition to have lots of ‘dots on the map’,” said President and CEO Todd Spencer in a news release. “But we see our move into Columbus as a way for us to most effectively serve the needs of OhioHealth. Moreover, it’s a dynamic market with great talent and a lot of possibility for an integrated agency like Doe-Anderson.”

In Louisville, Doe-Anderson has added a dozen people to its staff in six months and is now staffed at 110 people; it also has five openings. In order to accommodate the growing team, the agency has leased an additional 4,000 square feet of space at its West Main Street HQ. —Melissa Chipman

Teamsters mechanics threatening strike in UPS contract talks

Courtesy of the Teamsters.
Courtesy of the Teamsters.

UPS aircraft mechanics and other maintenance workers are likely to authorize a strike in November, a union official told IL. A company official dismissed the action as “posturing.”

The Teamsters Local 2727 and the company have been negotiating a new contract for almost three years. The union represents about 1,200 workers, including about 500 in Louisville.

The parties have been working with a mediator for six months, but health insurance for early retirees remains a major sticking point.

“We’re deadlocked,” said Tim Boyle, president of Local 2727.

Ballots for a strike authorization vote were sent out last week, and Boyle said he expects the vast majority of members to vote in favor. Ballots will be counted Nov. 11. Before the union can strike, the negotiator will have to release the parties, and the National Mediation Board will have to recommend that a strike be initiated. That process will take at least 60 days.

UPS spokesman Mike Mangeot said the recent union activity “is typical negotiations posturing (and) has no legal significance.”

“The reality is talks continue to progress under the control of the NMB, which under U.S. labor law controls the pace and timing of negotiations,” Mangeot told IL via email.

tim-boyle-pic
Tim Boyle

Boyle blamed the impasse on the company’s plan to drastically increase prices on critical health care benefit.

Some of the mechanics, after working 25 years around aircraft, suffer significant injuries from repeated lifting of tires to the point that their shoulders, backs and other joints leave them unable to continue to work, Boyle said. Others suffer hearing loss because of the noise around planes.

When those union members retire early, they need health insurance to bridge their health care until age 65, when they become eligible for Medicare, the government health insurance for the elderly.

Union members have had that health insurance bridge benefit since 1988, and have made concessions over the years to keep it, Boyle said.

Today, that insurance benefit costs a union member and his dependents about $3,700 per year, Boyle said. The company wants to raise the price to an annual $19,401.

That price will make the benefit unaffordable, he said.

“We’re not going to allow our members to get kicked to the street without insurance,” Boyle said.

What’s worse, he said, is that the benefit does not cost the company all that much money. But the potential liability on the insurance makes the company’s balance sheet look bad, he said.

“They want to get rid of (the benefit),” Boyle said.

ups-logoThe union also is asking for higher pay. Wages for mechanics start at about $21.63 and reach their maximum, $50.31, in the fifth year. Boyle said FedEx pays its mechanics about $56 at the high end, and the Teamsters want UPS to pay competitive wages.

“We don’t think we’re asking for much,” he said.

Mangeot said that UPS aircraft mechanics earn $105,000 per year, among the highest wages in commercial aviation.

And, he said, Local 2727 members get comprehensive health insurance for free, a benefit that costs the typical U.S. family about $4,800.

Mangeot said that contract negotiations in the airline industry often take many years because of the complexity of the Railway Labor Act, the federal law that governs airline contract talks.

He said the company remained confident that it would reach an agreement that satisfies both sides.

Boyle said that Teamsters will be protesting at Amazon in Jeffersonville on Monday to ask the online retailer and consumers to boycott UPS. Boris Ladwig

Local team performs double hand transplant

Louella Aker, double hand transplant, pictured with Dr. Christina Kaufman, executive director of the Christine M. Kleinert Institute for Hand & Microsurgery; Stu Williams, PhD, division chief, Bioficial Heart, Cardiovascular Innovation Institute; and Tuna Ozyurekoglu, MD, lead hand surgeon, Kleinert Kutz Hand Care Center.
Louella Aker, who received a double hand transplant, is pictured with Dr. Christina Kaufman, Dr. Stu Williams, and Dr. Tuna Ozyurekoglu.

A local team of transplant experts has performed a double hand transplant for a Southern Indiana woman.

Louella Aker, 69, was diagnosed with septicemia, a blood infection, after she volunteered to help clean up Henryville, Ind., which had been hit by a tornado on March 2, 2012. The infection required amputations of her legs below the knees, her left forearm and part of her right hand.

During a 17-hour procedure on Sept. 17, 20 surgeons who are part of the Louisville Vascularized Composite Allograft program transplanted two hands at Jewish Hospital.  Fourteen hospital staff members and six anesthesiologists assisted.

“This will change my life and allow me to do the things I miss, like holding my granddaughter’s hand,” Aker said in a press release.

The Louisville Vascularized Composite Allograft program is a partnership of physicians, researchers and health care providers from Jewish Hospital, the Christine M. Kleinert Institute for Hand and Microsurgery, the Kleinert Kutz Hand Care Center and the University of Louisville.

Doctors said that the operation also reinforces the importance of organ and tissue donation, a sentiment that a hand transplant recipient recently shared with Insider Louisville. Boris Ladwig

Louisville Cream introduces winter flavors

louisville creamLouisville Cream has added four new winter flavors. The local premium small-batch ice cream is available at special events and at Old Town Wine & Spirits and Rainbow Blossom stores. The company also offers event catering services to make any occasion a super sweet one.

The new flavors are:

  • Salted Butter Caramel: buttery caramel ice cream finished with sea salt
  • Pumpkin Pecan Pie: pumpkin ice cream with brown sugar marshmallow creme and pecan pie custard
  • Peppermint Pretzel Stick: white chocolate ice cream with peppermint cream cheese frosting and chocolate covered pretzels
  • Boozy Santa: chocolate milk ice cream spiked with bourbon and snickerdoodle cookies. –Melissa Chipman


Crescent Hill Trading Co. sold to new owners

Kathy Schmitt is owner of the Crescent Hill Trading Co. | Photo by Sara Havens
Kathy Schmitt is owner of the Crescent Hill Trading Co. | Photo by Sara Havens

Kathy Schmitt, owner of the antique store Crescent Hill Trading Co., has sold her business, she announced via Facebook.

“The Crescent Hill Trading Company will stay the Crescent Hill Trading Company. Both buyer and seller recognize that our customers and the community are important in this deal. Our customer base is savvy and understand that nothing can replace a locally owned and operated business,” she wrote in the post. “The shop has always represented to me what it means to truly be part of community.”

The new owners are Crescent Hill residents Mark Gaff and Jack Tindal, Schmitt said.

“Mark and Jack recognize that the price includes a premium for the goodwill that has been created in the neighborhood. They will work hard to ensure that Crescent Hill Trading Company remains an asset to the Louisville community,” the post reads.

For six years, Schmitt has owned Crescent Hill Trading Co., which has been a Frankfort Avenue staple. However, she wasn’t the original owner either, according to a previous Insider Louisville article. The store first opened about 14 years ago.

To help customers and the new owners with the transition, the Crescent Hill Trading Co. will host a party, with live music, food and sales, starting at 6 p.m. Nov. 25. The party will give Schmitt an opportunity to say goodbye and new owners a chance to introduce themselves. —Caitlin Bowling