Chicago-based Mobile Canning Business

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Experience the Best in Craft Beverages with Mobile Packaging Services!
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Business Description

Phil’s Mobile Canning is a profitable on-site packaging service providing can decoration and filling to craft beverage makers that is for sale as a turn-key business. Can decoration involves using stationery equipment located in our warehouse to apply customer-designed shrink-sleeve labels to cans before filling. Filling services involve our operators driving trailered equipment and packaging supplies to the customer's location, setting it up, and filling cans with delicious craft beverages including beer, wine, soda, tea, cold brew coffee, and hard kombucha. Customers then pay at time of service via check.

"Why don’t companies just can beer themselves?"
I’m glad you ask! In my calculations, the purchase of a canning line doesn’t make fiscal sense until a brewery can produce, can, and self-distribute around 60 barrels (or 708 cases) per month in 15 bbl runs, double that if a distributor is used. Considering many start-up breweries will only produce about 200 cases per month to be sold primarily in their taproom, continuous canning is just not needed. Additionally, it will be rare that an eligible business has an additional .75 skilled FTE to operate, maintain, clean, and oversee inventory for the canning process; nor the floor space for the machine and inventory. Many of the 319, and growing, breweries in IL and WI will just not get there, nor do they want to!

Phil’s currently operates via owners that act as part-time managers/ marketers/ decorators, with management tasks including scheduling, ordering, marketing, payroll and maintenance requiring about 16 hours per week. Phil’s currently has two part- to full-time employees that are scheduled for canning services as needed. Our production is targeted for 2.0 FTEs producing 60-bbl/ week (248 16- oz. cans, or 330 12-oz. cans) with shrink sleeving requiring .4 FTE, and travel and canning requiring 1.6 FTE. The canning machine operates at about 6 bbl/ hr, so this budget represents approximately 10 hours of continuous run time. Set-up and tear down requires about 1 hour each, or 8 hours per week. Travel time is budgeted at 8 hours per week, with additional travel time being a direct cost to the customer. The sleeving line requires about 30 minutes to prepare and warm up, and runs at up to 50 cans per minute. Continuous run time for 60 bbl. of cans would require 6.6 hours per week. So, a “60 bbl. work week” is a very attainable standard, with the ideal work week starting with shrink sleeving on Monday, and canning 15 bbl on Tue - Fri.

About the Business

Cook County, Illinois
Year Established:
Number of Employees:
Real Estate:
Building Sq. Ft.:
$0.63 Per Month
Lease Expiration:
GRX Depalletizer- $35,200/
Tri-Pack LSA 50 shrink sleeve line- $62,500/
Reimer electric boiler- $15,000/
3ph electrical transformer- $6000/
Boiler blow down system- $3000/
Alpha BC-35 with spare parts kit- $90,000/
Ford Transit 350 high-roof Van- $41,000/
7’ Equipment trailer w/ rigging & waterproofing- $8000/
Air compressors and dryers- $2000/
Set of necessary hand tools- $1500/
Material handling devices- $6600/
Pallet racks- $3000/
Total $273,800.00
Market Outlook/
Coming from Valparaiso, IN, Crystal Lake, IL, Carmel, IN, or Grand Rapids, MI, other mobile canners require 30 bbl minimum orders to be profitable, excluding many local breweries. Our location central to over 50 small breweries gives us a wider customer base with lower minimum orders. The biggest competitor is customers securing their own canning lines, however, Phil's retains these customers by supplying them with decorated cans because they benefit from our larger buying power for supplies and professional-looking shrink-sleeved cans.
Growth & Expansion:
As a passive investor an owner could make $25 - $50k annually with great fringe benefits. The greater potential is for active owners to work to maximize production of both the can decoration and the filling lines. The can decoration line could support up to 5 canning lines with only 2 full-time equivalents, so working to increase can decoration sales could make Phil’s a franchise opportunity supporting up to 4 additional canning lines in other locations, making up to $350k/ yr. Working as an operator, an owner could net $150k full-time/ $75k part-time.
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About the Sale

Reason For Selling:
Looking to divest
-Current owners are available for transitional support for up to one year, as negotiated
-Repair services by an electrical engineer for programming, repair, and trouble-shooting support free of charge in exchange for canning services
-Equipment manufacturers offer free phone support to trouble-shoot equipment.
Seller Financing:
Sales price assumes subletting existing space, although relocation is possible

Listing Info

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Business Listed by
Karen Shaw

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U.S. Census Data for Cook County, IL



Source: Decennial Census (2010), United States Census Bureau.

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U.S. Community Survey Data for Cook County, IL


Source: American Community Survey (2010-2014), United States Census Bureau.

This product uses the Census Bureau Data API but is not endorsed or certified by the Census Bureau.

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