BRADFORD — While most business ventures begin with a dream, there are few that have withstood the test of pressure, patience and time.
However, for one Ohio mining family, great things are possible with expertise, adaptability, a well-developed plan, and a “can do” attitude. This week, CF Poeppelman, Inc.-Pepcon celebrated its thriving business and family legacy in the completion of its Plant Expansion Project.
Since 1979, the CF Poeppelman stone quarry, located at 4755 North State Route 721, has served the residents of Darke, Miami and Shelby counties (and beyond), providing crushed stone for driveways, pea gravel, masonry sand and gravel, sandbox sand and other limestone aggregates, as well as concrete for residential, commercial and agricultural projects.
“On the Poeppelman family tree, my brother, Matt, and I are the fifth generation in the mining business, ” said Ben Poeppelman, President of CF Poeppelman, Inc.-Pepcon. “My great-great grandfather started a mining business known as Arling Sand and Gravel, in Newark, Ohio, in the 1880s. My grandpa, CF Poeppelman, acquired the Bradford property in the 1960s, and started mining sand, gravel and limestone. Then in the 1980s, my Dad and Uncle took over the business, and started the ready-mix concrete side of the business, known as Pepcon. In 2018, Matt and I became the fifth generation owners of the business, and have been running operations since then.”
After taking over the reigns of the company, the brothers began to assess CF Poeppelman, Inc.’s continued growth, developing a twofold plan to reduce costs by using a system of conveyor belts (rather than trucks), and creating more flexibility in adapting product to meet market demand. Phase One, which broke ground in 2018, was completed in 2019; Phase Two, which broke ground in April 2020, was completed in May 2021.
“Phases One and Two of the Plant Expansion took over 4 million pounds of concrete, 1 million pounds of steel, and over 50,000 feet of electrical wire — roughly from here (in Bradford) to Maid Rite in Greenville,” said Matt Poeppelman, vice president of CF Poeppelman, Inc.-Pepcon. “This project was unique because of how much of it we took on ourselves. Our employees have great skill sets — everything from site prep, surveying, and layout to excavation, concrete forming, and concrete placement. Our safety performance was great. With thousands of man-hours, and with people and equipment moving simultaneously, we only had one minor injury.”
Matt Poeppelman also took time to thank those community partners who assisted in completing each phases of the two-year project. They included Process Machinery (Shelbyville, Ky.); 3-Way Electric (Greenville); Brumbaugh Construction (Arcanum); Greenville National Bank; and especially, his Dad, Jim, and Uncle Fred.
Among the many well-wishers at Monday morning’s ribbon-cutting event, were several local dignitaries, including Matt Huffman, Ohio Senate President; Robert Sprague, Ohio Treasurer; Warren Davidson, U.S. Congressman; Steve Huffman, State Senator; Susan Manchester, State Representative; Matt Aultman, Darke County Commissioner; Mike Stegall, Darke County Commissioner; Larry Holmes, Darke County Commissioner; Wade Westfall, Miami County Commissioner; and Patrick Jacomet, executive director of the Ohio Aggregates & Industrial Minerals Association (OAIMA).
“It’s a godly thing to leave a good inheritance. This is the land of opportunity, and it is important to be here today,” said Congressman Davidson. “We are fortunate to have so many folks rowing in the same direction…It is so great to see this family business flourish!”
“This business has been in Ohio since the 1880s, and within the same family for five generations. It is an honor and privilege to be here,” said Senator Matt Huffman. “The Poeppelman family has contributed to the growth of Darke County. They don’t just hire people — they live here, in the community, and support many local endeavors and charities throughout the area.”
“We are proud of CF Poeppelman and all of our members who put together such a phenomenal functioning plant,” said Patrick Jacomet, Executive Director of the OHAIM. “Every Ohioan needs 10 tons of aggregates mined locally each year…It is important to have those resources so close to home!”
In addition to the main CF Poeppelman quarry location in Bradford, Pepcon has two additional locations: 10175 Old State Route 121, in Versailles, and 567 Frank Miller Road, in Union City, Ind.