YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) - It's been two-and-a-half years since we first heard about plans to make Chill Cans in Youngstown. Now for the first time, there's a definitive date on when the cans will actually be made.
The two Joseph Company buildings that straddle Youngstown's N. Lane Avenue will soon be making the Chill Cans the city was promised.
Last Friday, the Joseph Company -- which makes the cans -- signed a deal with a major beverage company.
"I'm pleased to say that Friday, we signed our first agreement with one of the largest beverage companies in the world and eventually, that product -- which I can't tell right this minute -- will be made in Youngstown," said company president Mitchell Joseph.
All of the cans will be made in Youngstown, which means one of the plants must be ready by September 1.
The Fizzics brand of sparkling cold brew coffee, which uses the Chill Cans, was introduced last year in Southern California 7-Eleven stores.
"It was so overwhelmingly successful, that we were bombarded by the beverage world -- and I mean everybody from malt beverages to soft drinks and nutrient drinks all came to us," Joseph said.
The interested companies needed time to vet the Chill Can. Would it work? Would it sell? That's why there has been no activity at the Youngstown plant yet.
The Joseph Company holds the patent on the Chill Can technology and these are his words -- "that's why we have the kings of our industry coming to get a license."
Joseph said he's excited to bring it back to the City of Youngstown "where it belongs."
He's been working the past six weeks to get the plant ready.
"We wouldn't be putting millions of dollars into that property if we weren't going to make Chill Cans, if we weren't going to do beverage products out of there," Joseph said.
The original plan was to hire 237 people and Joseph said that's still the plan. Security personnel will be hired first, followed by engineers. He has received resumes from Lordstown employees and plans to interview them.
There is a definitive timetable in place now.
"Building 1 has to be producing and doing light distribution by September 1, so that's our commitment to the beverage world," Joseph said.
A third building will go up sometime this summer.