The Refinery, a former warehouse space at 936 Exchange St., originally was built between the 1860s and 1930s by the Vacuum Oil Co. The group of historic buildings has been used by a number of businesses through the years, including Foodlink Inc. as a food storage and distribution center.
Today, the site is home to businesses such as Community Composting, R Community Bikes, Small World Food, Smugtown Mushrooms, Suck It Up Straws and Shawn Dunwoody’s Four Walls Art Gallery. The Refinery provides space to local artists, businesses and community groups, with a particular focus on sustainability, the circular or regenerative economy, craft production and personal and community development.
Dozens of small businesses involved in the restoration, reuse, preservation and adaptation of furniture, buildings, electronics, traditions and more also call the Refinery home. And many of the site’s tenants live right in the neighborhood, having founded their businesses in their living rooms, kitchens, garages or back yards.
The Refinery, which also offers cowork space, is located along the Genesee River in the Plymouth-Exchange neighborhood, a quick walk, bike ride, bus or drive from downtown, the South Wedge, Corn Hill, the University of Rochester and the 19th Ward.