TROY - A pink bench as well as the building it sits beside have deep roots in the Troy community. Now with some new paint and a full remodeling of the building, the historic location is being brought back to life.
“It's really exciting to me because I have good memories coming here as a kid and buying Lemonheads and stuff with my friends. Everyone else that grew up here has good memories, positive memories and they're really happy to share those with us. Not one bad story yet,” recalled Pink Bench Distilling co-owner Shawna Kelsey.
What will be the new distillery was once two buildings built in 1910 and 1940. Various businesses have been located in the old Downtown Troy building over the years. Now, after being stripped down to the studs and rebuilt, it will be home to a new community gathering place.
Take a tour of Pink Bench Distilling in Troy below.
“I think that taking something instead of knocking it down and building it up, to be beautiful again is going to be a big community asset. It means a lot more to the community than it would as a fancy new building. So it's worth the work,” said Pink Bench Distilling co-owner Kristina Boyd.
The local distillery idea came after the community collected a massive amount of apples to deter bear and human conflicts. Now, locals will collect botanicals to bring the flavors of Troy to life. The new distillery will not only create jobs but the liquor will be made from the community's resources on public lands.
“We really want to have a business that's a community asset. Part of that is providing jobs, jobs in a way that's appropriate for the area and really celebrates the skills and knowledge that people have already. So it's a logical use of an overabundance,” said Kelsey.
Pink Bench Distilling is named after the pink bench that has sat beside the building for 20 years.
“It's a place where you walk by and nothing else in town is bright pink and you look at it and think what is going on with that building? And it's really a symbol of what we hope to be, which is the spark of creativity in a small mountain town,” said Boyd.
Being born and raised in Troy and growing her own family here, Kelsey feels the need to make this business succeed.
“On one hand, feels really safe and lovely and warm. But then, it's also a little scary because this is my community, and we have a big responsibility to do things the right way and to not give up, because, you know, we're not just responsible for ourselves. This is a big deal, you know, and we don't want to let people down,” said Kelsey.
The goal is for Pink Bench Distilling to open by this summer.