Starting as early as this summer, manufacturing operations are expected to begin at Victoriaville & Co.’s new casket and urn factory in Cleveland’s Bellaire-Puritas neighborhood following an investment of about $1 million to retrofit and existing building on West 130th Street (Victoriaville & Co.). CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE THEM
Canadian biz hiring 100 in Cleveland
Construction permits were filed this week with Cleveland’s Building Department to retrofit a west-side factory so Victoriaville & Co. of Victoriaville, Québec, Canada can open its first manufacturing operations in the USA. The plant will manufacture what’s called “death care merchandise” — namely caskets and urns in what is a growing market as the oldest Baby Boomers approach 80 years of age.
Victoriaville & Co., the third-largest casket-maker in North America, has operations on three continents — North America, Europe (United Kingdom) and Australia. While the company has manufacturing operations in Canada, its Cleveland site will allow the company expand its North American production and respond to business growth. According to its permit application filed with the city by David Harkleroad, plant manager for Victoriaville & Co. USA Manufacturing, the company will invest $1 million in retrofitting a 67,000-square-foot building at 4848 W. 130th St. leased from Premier Development Partners of Cleveland.
To support that investment, the Ohio Tax Credit Authority approved an eight-year tax credit worth $514,000 that would be awarded if Victoriaville & Co. has at least $5 million in payroll by 2027. A written statement from the company says that it intends to hire up to 100 people within five years which would allow it to secure that tax credit. The 1953-built factory and its 4.3 acres of land, located just north of an interchange on Interstate 480, was acquired by Premier in 2021 for $1.2 million, county records show. No leases for the property have been recorded with the county as yet.
“This manufacturing addition to our existing capacity has become necessary in order to support the company’s sustained growth by expanding the company’s workforce, by simplifying its supply chain and by specializing all three manufacturing plants,” said Alain Dumont, president and CEO of Victoriaville & Co.
Victoriaville & Co.’s new 67,000-square-foot factory in the Bellaire-Puritas neighborhood of Cleveland includes a 7,000-square-foot office at the front corner of the building at West 130th Street and Enterprise Avenue (Google).
“The project will welcome up to 100 jobs with the growth planned in the next five years and will be in operations in the summer of 2023,” said Charles-Olivier Dumont, Victoriaville’s vice president of sales and business development, said in a written statement. “Without the cooperation and the financial support of the city of Cleveland, the Cuyahoga County and the state of Ohio, this expansion would never have been realized.”
Tom Anderson, CEO and editor of Funeral Director Daily, wondered about the market strength of casket production. He expected casket sales to decline over time as cremation and other disposition methods become a higher percentage of all deaths. It should be noted that the Cleveland plant will also produce urns for cremations as well.
“However, demographers have also told us that we will have more people (population) in the United States going forward so even with less percentage of total disposition sales, there is expected to be ample room for companies to profit off the sale of caskets going forward,” Anderson said. “I’m pretty sure that is what Victoriaville & Co. is banking on with this investment.”
“Along with our local partners, Ohio Department of Development and JobsOhio, we welcome Victoriaville & Co. to the Northeast Ohio Region,” said Bill Koehler, CEO of the economic development nonprofit organization Team NEO. “We are confident Victoriaville & Co. will succeed here with our robust manufacturing supply chain and talented, abundant workforce.”
From the west or rear side of the building on 4848 W. 130th St. is a warehouse and truck loading dock. Enterprise Avenue is just beyond the left side of the image (CommercialEdge).
“These are jobs that can support families and help them build for a secure economic future,” Cuyahoga County Executive Chris Ronayne added. “Small- and medium-sized businesses are vital to our economy and our future, and we are committed to working with economic development partners including Team NEO, the City of Cleveland and all our 59 municipalities to attract businesses that create these good jobs in our community.”
“We are pleased to welcome Victoriaville & Co. to the Bellaire-Puritas neighborhood,” said Mayor Justin Bibb. “I am grateful for the work of all partners involved in this effort to bring new business along with 100 family-sustaining jobs to our city. We look forward to working together and showcasing Cleveland as an ideal place for businesses to grow.”
“I am excited that Victoriaville has decided to establish its first US manufacturing facility in Cleveland, specifically Ward 16,” said Brian Kazy, ward councilman. “Ward 16 prides itself in being home to a large industrial and manufacturing community and we look forward to Victoriaville investing in that community.”
Founded in 1907 and committed exclusively to the funeral profession since 1948, Victoriaville & Co. is a fourth-generation family business that employs hundreds of people in Canada, Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom. Victoriaville & Co. has become the third-largest manufacturer of hardwood caskets in North America and one of the most important distributors of funeral and commemorative products.