Dayton Venue: Country Chic

Canopy Creek Farm in Miamisburg attracts more than weddingsBeth Langefels After a successful career with the Iams Co. Andy Chance of Miamisburg retired and immediately bought a pet food ingredient business—which he ended up selling. After that he found himself bored and, like many retirees, looking for the next opportunity.

Chance and his wife, Danette, who both grew up in and raised their daughters in Miamisburg, decided to embark on a new business adventure and bought a 24-acre property on Benner Road in Miamisburg in 2012.

“It was an old, run-down farmhouse that had been owned by an elderly gentleman who had passed away years before,” Chance says. “There was not much that could be salvaged except for the 150-year-old stone building.”

The couple ordered a barn kit from a company in Nebraska, hired a local builder to erect it and before long a brand new “country chic” event venue was ready for its first guests.

Canopy Creek Farm opened officially and hosted its first wedding in December of 2013. That first year the venue hosted more than 100 events, mostly weddings, and the business just exploded. Since then hundreds of weddings, parties and family events have been conducted on the property year round.

“Misty Sander is our sales and marketing manager,” Danette says. “She is the first person any customer will speak with—our ‘face’ if you will.”

With an event planning and marketing background, Sander works with each family or business, introducing them to an event coordinator contracted to help plan and manage each event. Fifteen hours of coordinator services is included with each event.

Sander spends much of her time with brides, who often book the venue two years ahead of their ceremony. But because most brides and grooms prefer Saturday dates and are also now booking Fridays and Sundays many weekdays remain open.

“We block out holidays but otherwise we do business any day of the week,” Chance says. “We do have a lot of graduation parties in May and June, but we are reaching out to local businesses to do more corporate events.”

The big barn, which has a capacity for up to 250 guests, is heated and air-conditioned. There is a brides room for dressing and prepping hair and makeup and they are adding a grooms room, which will open soon. They have also improved the paths around the large pond and down to the creek, paving them for easier access to outdoor events.

“80% of couples have their ceremonies here as well as receptions,” Chance says. “They really like the character and they can show their originality.”

That includes bringing along dogs and cats as the venue is completely pet-friendly. And since they don’t hold a liquor or food service license customers may bring in their own food and beverages.

After years of working long hours on their business, the couple says they feel ready to slow down a bit. They recently hired their son-in-law to help manage Canopy Creek Farm so they can take some time for themselves.

“This is definitely not a part-time retirement job,” Chance says. “We’ve grown so much that we don’t really have to advertise. But we would like companies and nonprofits to think of us for their events.”