Construction of first distillery in Mississippi Delta to begin — a $16.9 million investment to be located in historic factory

Published 4:39 pm Monday, June 3, 2024

The construction of the first legal distillery in the Mississippi Delta has begun. The $16.9 million investment will include a large still, a bottling operation and a warehouse for aging spirits, all located in a 166,000 historic factory.

The Rosedale Distilling Company, a distiller and producer of various premium and super premium spirits, has started construction on several locations in the City of Rosedale, in Bolivar County.

Company founders Jack and Elizabeth Coleman moved back to the Mississippi Delta with the purpose of creating opportunity for their neighbors in the Delta and establishing the Delta as a premier region for the distilling industry.

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The Rosedale Distilling Company will be the first legal distillery in the history of the Delta.

This transformational project is the largest in the west side of Bolivar County to be undertaken in many years and represents a $16.9 million investment by the Company.

The main distillery, including the large still, the bottling and canning operation, and the primary warehouse  (rick house) for the aging of spirits in barrels, will be in a repurposed 166,000 sq. ft. historic former factory building on 15 acres. The building, listed on the  National Register of Historic Places, was built in 1954 by Alabama Metal  Products Company, a manufacturer of steel kitchen cabinets.

Along with the repurposing of the factory building, approximately 20,000 sq. ft. of historic buildings in downtown Rosedale will be restored following the  U.S. Secretary of the Interior’s stringent historic requirements and will house the rum distillery and tasting room, a distillery store, and museums dedicated to Mississippi River Explorers (De Soto, Marquette and Joliet, and La Salle), one-time Rosedale resident King of the Delta Blues Singers Robert Johnson,  and Senator Blanche K. Bruce, the only former slave to become a U.S. Senator and later the Register of the U.S. Treasury, also a Rosedale resident.

The Company projects creating 57 well-paying new jobs within five years of completion of construction.

Rosedale Distilling carries on the rich and colorful history of fine whiskey making in the Mississippi Delta near Rosedale. According to Jack Coleman,  “One product line will honor the legendary Perry Martin, a bootleg whiskey maker for more than 40 years who made such great, aged whiskey that it could be found in many parts of the country. Mr. Martin buried his filled barrels to age in the sandbar of the Mississippi River to avoid discovery – barrels he bought from my grandad’s hardware store. His whiskey, a prized possession in Mississippi, was considered so good that customers would ask for it by name in bars in Chicago, Detroit, New York, and many other cities. We appreciate the cooperation of the Martin family in bringing this historic brand back alive”.

Elizabeth Coleman, a native of San Antonio, Texas, has embraced the  Mississippi Delta with gusto. Said Coleman, “My grandmother was a trailblazer in historic conservation back in San Antonio, so bringing historic structures back to life is in my blood. Jack and I and our equity investors are excited to bring this transformative project to Delta. We really appreciate our partners like U.S. Bancorp Impact Finance, Southern Bancorp  Bank, Enhanced Capital, Advantage Capital and Guaranty Bank, which provided capital via the Federal and Mississippi New Market Tax Credit  Programs; and Magnolia Bank which provided capital backed by a USDA  Loan Guarantee Program. We have great local partners in the City of  Rosedale, Bolivar County, Mississippi Development Authority, South Delta  Planning & Development District, and the Mississippi Heritage Trust. It has  taken a strong collaboration to bring this dream to fruition.”

Rosedale Distilling will be able to accommodate large or small groups for tastings and events and will be a popular draw for out-of-state tourists and  Mississippians alike who want to experience the beauty of the Mississippi  River, the great outdoors, and the history of the blues music in which  Rosedale plays such a historic role. A groundbreaking is planned for late summer.