It's been a long time coming, but Greater Sudbury's first distillery opens its doors April 4.
A lot of “elbow grease” went into converting a 3,600-square-foot former machine shop on Kelly Lake Road into a distillery and tasting room, he said.
The facility is located close to the city's only microbrewery, Stack Brewing, which has been handy when Prodan has needed advice.
“The feedback from the community has been incredible,” he said.
“We've had businesses giving us a fair bit of support or even a helping hand. A lot of our neighbours have been incredible. When the still showed up, I think we had three or four local businesses trying to help us unload the still from the transport. It was wedged in pretty tight.”
To begin with, Crosscut Distillery will be selling its vodka, gin and bacon-flavoured vodka.
“We'll do small batches of different things,” Prodan said. “It's partly the fun part of the business.”
The distillery, only one of two in northern Ontario, isn't holding a grand opening just yet. Its opening next week will be more of a soft launch.
“We figure we'd open slow,” said Prodan, who's brought on two staff members to help him. “It's a pretty complex operation, and there's only three of us. There's going to be bumps and we'd rather find out slowly as we encounter each one.”
Prodan and his wife are originally from Elliot Lake, but lived in Ottawa for years. There Prodan — who has a degree in toxicology — worked for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, regulating alcohol.
The couple moved to Greater Sudbury three years ago because they wanted to raise their two young kids in northern Ontario.
Opening a distillery was “the only job I could think of where I could wake up, put on work boots, put on a lab coat the next day and the next day put on a suit,” Prodan said.
As of April 4, Crosscut Distillery will be open Wednesday to Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Samples are available, and tours of the facility will run on Saturdays.
The distillery is located at 1347 Kelly Lake Rd., across the road from Echo Rental. There's currently no sign, as a temporary sign blew away in a windstorm, but staff are working on remedying the situation.