Co-working space and event venue opens in Manheim

By on August 16, 2017

Vies of the exterior of Supply and its rooftop deck. (Photos by Rochelle Shenk)

Supply, a Manheim co-working location and event venue, celebrated its opening on July 15. The 18,000-square-foot facility at 280 S. Oak St. previously housed Kaps Recon Center, but had been vacant. It’s been transformed into an airy, light-filled space capped with a festively lit rooftop deck.

Supply is the vision of two couples — T.J and Brooke Mousetis and Bryan and Heather Zeamer, doing business as Baron Nation LLC.

“Co-working space is perfect for entrepreneurs. It can offer opportunities for collaboration and to bounce ideas off of other people,” T.J. Mousetis said. “Plus our co-working members can reserve areas such as the conference rooms, photo studio and rooftop deck (there’s an app for that). Our common areas are also available for the public to rent as event space.”

As for the name, he explained, “We want to ‘supply’ Manheim with new businesses and ‘supply’ revitalization. Manheim is a great place to live. Lititz and Lancaster have been revitalized, why not Manheim?”

Don DeHart, treasurer of the Manheim Chamber, said the location in the southeast corner of the building is “a great central location to do business in Manheim and to reach out to surrounding communities.”

The over $1.5 million effort to transform the space began last summer. T.J. and Brooke Mousetis are founders of Walk In Love, a company that makes T-shirts with inspirational and Christian messages and sells them online. Now based at Supply, the company and its four employees, had been headquartered at 148 E. Stiegel St.

(Left to right) T.J. and Brooke Mousetis, and Heather and Bryan Zeamer celebrate the opening of Supply, a co-working and events space in Manheim.

“We always planned to move down a floor in that building,” T.J. Mousetis explained. “When it was purchased by IDenticard, we began looking for other space. We saw this building, which was vacant at the time, was for sale, and even though it was really dark inside, we saw the potential.”

However, the cost of turning the vision into reality was a bit more than the couple could handle alone. T.J. said they became partners with the Zeamers, who share a similar viewpoint.

“We’re passionate about a few things: loving God, loving each other and loving Manheim,” T.J. Mousetis said with a smile.

Bryan Zeamer is president of Utility Keystone Trailer Sales in neighboring Rapho Township and Heather is an author and homemaker. The couple also founded Men of Iron, a 12-month, one-on-one mentoring program for Christian men.

The couples met when Walk in Love made T-shirts for a Men of Iron fundraiser. They also had another connection: Brooke Mousetis went to Manheim Central High School with Heather Zeamer’s younger brother, Garret Barbush, who is Men of Iron’s executive director.

Men of Iron has four fulltime and two part-time staff members. It had been headquartered at Utility Keystone, since May it’s at Supply.

“We were growing, and so was Utility Keystone,” Barbush said. “Supply is a great fit for us. Not only does the space encourage collaboration, but since it’s in Manheim, I can walk or bike to work.”

Men of Iron is one of the businesses now located at Supply. Staff members (left to right) Dave Towers, Garret Barbush, and Steve Glick were on hand to celebrate the opening of the co-working
location.

The building that houses Supply is part of the former Raymark site, a brownfield that was redeveloped as Greentree Business Park with assistance from the Manheim Area Economic Development Corporation (MAEDC). John Kegarise, MAEDC president, said the original organization was founded to redevelop Greentree, but it also serves the Manheim Central region by implementing and promoting projects within the area. Additionally MAEDC also helps stimulate economic growth and redevelopment of Manheim’s downtown area. He pointed out that. It became the depository for grant money to clean up the site, develop the existing buildings for reuse and handle the demolition of unusable structures.

According to information found in the Manheim Historical Society’s history book, “Manheim Revisited: 1700-2000.” Raymark began in 1906 as the US Asbestos Co. Over the years the plant expanded to roughly 90-acres and the name changed to Raybestos-Manhattan, Raymark and Universal Friction.

The business manufactured friction product material including automotive brake linings, clutch facings and other specialized friction products. It was once Manheim’s largest employer, with an estimated 1,600 workers. However the company was affected by asbestos litigation. Operations on the site ended in 1998, at that time it was owned by Universal Friction.

Enter MAEDC. Kegarise explained that the organization became the depository for grant money to redo the site. In turn the money was used to clean up the site, develop the existing buildings for reuse and also handle the demolition of unusable structures. He said the site is fully developed, and the buildings are owned independently.

“Over the last two years the economic landscape has changed in this area and with the LERTA (local economic tax relief) now effective in the Borough of Manheim future growth seems certain,” Kegarise said.

Mayor Scot Funk’s father worked at Raymark, and he recalls visiting the manufacturer with his dad.

“The transformation of this site has been a slow process, but it’s great to see all the businesses that are here today,” said Funk. “I can’t wait to see what else develops.”

“We are very happy to have Supply as a part of the Manheim business community,” added Manheim Borough manager Jim Fisher. “These new and diverse businesses are a great compliment to Manheim’s existing, long-standing industrial and commercial base.”

T J Mousetis said that he hopes that Baron Nation’s investment will spur other development.

Rochelle Shenk is a correspondent for the Lititz Record Express. She welcomes your comments and questions at RAASHENK@aol.com.

Inside Supply

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