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Matchbook Distilling Co. seeks to open Greenport distillery incubator

A view of 230 Corwin St., Greenport, formerly

A view of 230 Corwin St., Greenport, formerly the site of a marine supply company. New owners plan to open a distillery incubator after making their plans official in a proposal to the Suffolk County IDA on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016. Photo Credit: Google Maps

A group of entrepreneurs has received preliminary approval for help from Suffolk County in opening a distillery in Greenport that will serve as an incubator for individuals wanting to make spirits.

Matchbook Distilling Company LLC, formed last month, would save $120,860 on taxes over 10 years thanks to assistance awarded by the county’s Industrial Development Agency.

Matchbook on Thursday told the IDA it expects to go from zero employees to 11 by 2018. They would earn, on average, $40,363 per year excluding benefits, records show.

The Greenport facility will include a tasting room, which the entrepreneurs said would attract tourists to the East End.

The assistance package will be considered for final approval by the IDA’s board after a public hearing not yet scheduled.

The company is owned by Leslie Merinoff of Brooklyn, Brian Kwasnieski of East Hampton, and Merinoff’s mother, Alicia Merinoff.

Leslie Merinoff, company president, works at a Brooklyn distillery and grew up at Quail Hill Farm on the South Fork.

She told the IDA that Matchbook plans to buy four adjacent buildings at 230 Corwin St. in Greenport for the distillery, which will be used to make private label spirits in small batches.

Farmers, entrepreneurs, wedding parties, golf clubs and others will use the facility to make their own vodka, whiskey, brandy and other liquors. “This will be shared manufacturing space. . . . People can come and produce spirits,” Merinoff said. “Farmers can process some of their crops into spirits.”

The site was occupied by a marine supply company until about six months ago, said Anthony J. Catapano, the IDA’s executive director.

The IDA’s incentive package supports a $2.7 million project consisting of the purchase of equipment and buying and renovating the four buildings. The biggest savings will be $87,533, or 27.5 percent, off property taxes over the next decade.

Matchbook is also seeking help from New York State.

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