Retirement has come to mean varied experiences to people today. While it can mean relaxing and taking it easy, for many it has transformed into the adventure of beginning an entirely new business.
After a successful career with Proctor and Gamble and the Iams Company, Andy Chance of Miamisburg retired and immediately bought a pet food ingredient business out of New Zealand, which he sold about four years ago. “I got a little bored after selling that business,” he said.
So he and his wife, Danette, who both grew up and raised their daughters Megan and Ashley in Miamisburg, decided to embark on a new business adventure and bought a 27-acre property on Benner Road in Miamisburg in 2012.
“It was an old rundown farm house that had been owned by an elderly gentleman who had passed away years before,” Andy said. “There was not much that could be salvaged except for an old stone building that is about 150 years old.”
The property, which had been for sale and had sat empty for some time, intrigued the couple, who had not only wanted a place to raise horses but also wanted some type of business to go along with that.
“Our daughters were both getting married soon and were looking for rustic country chic venues and couldn’t find what they wanted in SW Ohio,” Andy said. “We decided why not try to do a wedding venue on the property?”
The couple liked the idea of using an old barn but didn’t like the thought of dealing with HVAC and electrical issues, so they started with brand new. “We found a place in Nebraska that does barn kits and a local builder to erect the barn,” Andy said. “We have a capacity of 250, and we still have plenty of room for a dance floor, head tables a buffet and a dance floor.”
In December 2013 “Canopy Creek Farm” hosted its first wedding. Though that was too late for the either of the Chance daughters to utilize (Megan was married in May 2012 and Ashley in July 2013), more than 125 events have been hosted there since. The venue has 130 events booked for 2015, including weddings, corporate team-building events, family events and fundraisers.
“We put a big sign out on the road while we were under construction telling everyone what was coming,” Danette said. “And our first bookings came from folks coming in and looking at this run down farm. That was quite a leap of faith, especially for brides.”
The venue plays host to weddings more than any other event, mostly because brides plan farther out by necessity.Canopy Creek offers both creek side and lake side ceremonies all year round and ceremonies can be as personal as couples choose. The barn is completely heated and air conditioned and includes a kitchen so individuals may either bring their own food or have it catered. “If Grandma wants to make the cake and fix all the food, she can do that,” Danette said. “The name of the game is flexibility.”
And the venue is completely pet friendly so couples may include family dogs and get married on horseback if they choose.
“The initial idea was to have a business and to do other things with the property like have horseback riding trails and put in a riding arena, have hayrides and horse drawn carriage rides,” Andy said. “But things have taken off so quickly with this business that we are lagging behind. We expected 30 events in the first year and we got 100!”
For the Chance family, this is certainly good news as Canopy Creek Farm has suddenly become a “destination wedding site” and put Miamisburg on the map through several popular wedding websites.
“We’ve had people from several states book their weddings with us,” Andy said. “We tease about this becoming a popular place to get married now!”
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