The History of Coppes Napanee

The company that produced the Coppes Napanee Kitchenettes and the Napanee Line of furniture is over 135 years old, dating back to 1876. The Coppes company had its beginning when two young brothers, Frank and John Coppes, were asked to join with their brother-in-law John C. Mellinger in a small sawmill business.   The Mellinger-Coppes partnership did very well, and by 1880 they expanded by purchasing a box factory and planing mill. Soon the two Coppes brothers had bought out John Mellinger, and the box factory was moved from South of the railroad tracks (now the Nappanee Milling location on South Main St. ) to newly constructed buildings north of the present Coppes Factory. The 1883 building was the first of many buildings to be constructed at that site as the company phased in and out of furniture production and then turned its focus solely to kitchen cabinetry in the early 1900’s. Coppes Bros. & Zook soon became one of the leading manufacturers of  Hoosier Cabinets in the country, helping to put Nappanee on the map as “Kitchen City, U.S.A.” The business remained open through the Great Depression and two world wars, evolving its product line to fit the needs of the American home.

The buildings as they are today were built in many stages as the factory needed them. They are the product of at least 15 more building projects dating from 1887 to 1955. Today Coppes Commons uses these buildings to showcase its collection of unique shoppes and delicious treats.

Through it all, Coppes Napanee has managed to keep designing and producing high-quality cabinetry and has the distinction of being the longest continuously-operating cabinet manufacturer in the United States.

For a more in-depth look at the history of the Coppes businesses, visit the history page at www.CoppesCommons.com.