Welcome to the Oct. 22 Monday Business Briefing, your weekly business intelligence digest from Insider Louisville.
Bravo TV posts ‘Top Chef Kentucky’ preview
True to addictive television shows, the preview video for season 16 of Top Chef hosting in Kentucky doesn’t give too much away, while also promising drama and triumph.
It features prominent Louisville sights, including the new Lincoln Bridge, Churchill Downs and downtown, and clips of the 15 chef contestants running frantically around a kitchen and the judges saying things like “this is the best dish this season.”
As previously reported in the media, the season was filmed in Louisville, Lake Cumberland and at the University of Kentucky. Guest judges during the season include Laila Ali, Lena Waithe, Lily Aldridge, Kings of Leon’s Caleb Followill, Eric Ripert, Emeril Lagasse and John Calipari, among others.
Season 16 of Top Chef kicks off at 9 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6.
Insider reported in February that Top Chef could receive up to $3.526 million in state tax incentives for filming in Kentucky.
Separately, GE Appliances said its luxury Monogram brand is a partner in Season 16.
In other TV news, the regional home television show “My Southern Home” will begin airing in Lexington in April 2019. It already runs on at 12:30 p.m. on Sundays on WBNA 21 in Louisville and at 10 a.m. on Saturdays on MYTV 30 in Nashville.
Houses sold in Jefferson County drops 11.4% in September
In a rising rate environment, the September numbers from the Greater Louisville Association of Realtors were mixed. In Jefferson County, as the chart above indicates, 993 homes sold during the month, an 11.4 percent year-over-year decline. For the year to-date period, sales were down 1.4 percent, GLAR said.
GLAR President Karen Story noted in a news release there was a seasonal slowing of activity, but added, “We’re still seeing move-in ready moderately priced homes sell quickly.”
Inventory continues to be a challenge for the market, officials said, with nearly an 8 percent decline in Jefferson County in September from the year earlier. In Jefferson County, GLAR said, the average price in September was $212,624, up just over 1 percent, and the median was $174,500, up 2.65 percent. —Mickey Meece
Canopy hopes to raise $1 million in initial funding
Canopy, a new nonprofit membership organization that promotes for-profit social enterprise, says it plans to raise $1 million and be operational and working across the state in 2019.
The organization announced last week that it had secured the following commitments: $100,000 three-year partnership through the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development’s RISE (Regional Innovation for Startups and Entrepreneurs) initiative; $25,000 grant from Louisville Forward; $50,000 in startup funding from Stoll Keenon Ogden; $25,000 in startup funding from FMS; $30,000 in branding work from Bullhorn Creative; $50,000 three-year partnership with DMLO CPA.
In addition, Canopy has also received pledges of almost $20,000 in a crowdfunding campaign, which will be paid only if the $50,000 “Tipping Point” goal is met by Nov. 5.
Kentucky passed Public Benefit Corporation legislation in 2017, and that same year, according to a news release, the idea of Canopy was set in motion by a group of “inspired leaders who share a vision of a Kentucky on the leading edge of the global social enterprise movement.”
In the release, a co-founder, Scott Koloms, said, “We are excited about partnering with our state, cities, and with companies that share our vision of making Kentucky the best place for social entrepreneurs and for good business.”
Last week, Canopy held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at offices inside Koloms’ Facilities Management Services on Lytle Street in the Portland neighborhood, with Mayor Greg Fischer attending. “Big milestone for this organization dedicated to helping Public Benefit Corporations and other compassionate businesses!” Fischer tweeted. —Mickey Meece
Fond will close in 2019, but owner pledges to ‘continue evolution’
Fond, the once-a-week upscale restaurant in Crescent Hill owned by Chef Madeleine Dee, will close in mid-2019, but it isn’t going far or for long.
In a news announcement, Dee said after Fond closes – the lease ends next year, and the building will be sold – she will take over as resident chef at Logan Street Market, which is slated to open in the spring.
Meanwhile, she is looking for a new space where Fond can resume serving French-inspired cuisine in an intimate setting.
The goal is to open Fond as part of a small farm with a restaurant, store, wine cellar, event space and bed and breakfast.
“That was the original vision for Fond,” Dee said in the release, “so I am hoping that we can somehow make it a reality, creating dozens of Kentucky jobs along the way.”
Dee’s product line, Fond Originals, will continue in retail stores and as a pop-up at Logan Street Market. Dee said the product distribution will expand to surrounding markets in 2019 once the current version of Fond closes.
Smith speaks at 1Million Cups about UofL’s Envirome Institute
Ted Smith, director of the Center for Healthy Air, Water and Soil, which is part of the University of Louisville’s Envirome Institute, spoke to 1Million Cups on Wednesday about the institute and what the institute’s research is trying to discover.
Smith’s talk was a bit of a departure for 1Million Cups, which is an organization for entrepreneurs to connect and learn.
He said the institute was created to help environmental cardiologists differentiate themselves from traditional cardiology, which is based on trying to find ways to fix heart disease. Environmental cardiology is about finding out how to prevent it and determine scientifically what environmental, social and other causes actually lead to disease.
Smith said that while DNA testing companies say they can predict by 15 percent accuracy what genetic diseases you’re going to get, your ZIP code can actually predict your death by about 60 percent.
“And then you realize that there’s absolutely no structure around the environmental side of health. And that is the big idea that we took to the board of trustees,” Smith said.
Smith discussed the flaws of the Social Determinants of Health and how they aren’t backed by scientific study. The Evirome Institute plans to use scientific study to bring solid answers to similar questions.
1Million Cups meets 8 a.m. every third Wednesday of the month at LouieLab, 745 W. Main St. —Lisa Hornung
Bernheim Forest acquires an additional 494 acres
Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest has gotten a little bigger around the waist, and that’s a good thing. Last week, the Clermont, Ky.-based park acquired an additional 494-acre tract of land adjacent to Cedar Grove in Bullitt County, which will be used to create a wildlife corridor and help provide clean water and air.
The land further solidifies Bernheim’s legacy as the largest privately held forest dedicated to education and conservation in the eastern United States. The additional acres brings the total acreage of Bernheim to 16,137. The $1.4 million project was funded by the Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund and the Imperiled Bat Conservation Fund.
“Amidst the rapid pace of development, providing natural corridors where plant and wildlife habitat are protected is critical,” said Dr. Mark Wourms, Bernheim’s executive director, in a news release. “We are grateful to the partnerships that helped make this purchase possible.”
According to the release, the new chunk of land features many acres of forest, a 40-acre open field and a section of Cedar Creek, which flows into the Salt River, providing a habitat for many rare and threatened plants and animals, including the Indiana and Northern long-eared bats.
If you’re one of the thousands of Kentuckians who opt to have a nature license plate, you helped fund this acquisition as the money helps fund the Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund. So go ahead and pat yourself on the back and go check out your new land. —Sara Havens
EnterpriseCorp will hold its annual Vogt Awards Demo Day on Nov. 13, starting at 5:30 p.m. at Ice House, 226 East Washington Street. Six local startups will receive a $25,000 grant and 10 weeks of intensive training.
Princeton University scholar Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor will discuss the impact of the Black Lives Matter movement in the University of Louisville’s annual Anne Braden Memorial Lecture. Taylor’s free, public talk is Nov. 1 at 5:30 p.m. in Middleton Auditorium in Strickler Hall.
Papa John’s Chief Operating and Growth Officer Mike Nettles, who was recently promoted, will now earn an annual base salary of $600,000, and his compensation package was updated to include $450,000 in possible short-term incentive and $700,000 in possible long-term incentive compensation.
Ring Container Technologies has opened its $23.3 million Louisville facility, according to Gov. Matt Bevin. The plastics producer will serve key nearby customers, according to a news release, and employ 41.