We at the Mountain Cider Company are finally getting with the modern times (and by modern times, we mean late 1990’s), and starting a blog. We figured it was time, because our web guy kept bugging us, and we guess it wouldn’t hurt if our customers got to know us a bit more. That said, Welcome! As a means of introduction here are 5 questions that paint a pretty good picture of who we are, and where we came from.
Who makes your Spiced Apple Cider Concentrate
In short, we do, and by “we”, I mean the Gormly Family. Currently, Will Gormly is the owner of the Mountain Cider Company, but the business and the products were originally created by his father Bill Gormly. Bill is mostly retired now, but still gets called upon regularly for historical knowledge, and for help fixing machines when they break down. Will now oversees all the production runs, but family members, friends, and unsuspecting neighbors have all been recruited to help run production at some point.
So how did you end up making Spiced Apple Cider Concentrate?
In the beginning, there was an apple orchard and a Christmas tree farm. The apple orchard was the inspiration for a wide variety of related food products, but it was really the Christmas trees that led to the creation of our Spiced Apple Cider Concentrate. After hauling a balsam fir through the blustery cold, nothing is more warming to the body and soul than a cup of spiced apple cider. We used to make this cider for our Christmas tree customers by thawing out frozen cider from the previous Autumn, heating it up, and adding a mulling spice mix. This system worked great until the weather turned foul and the customers would stop showing up for the day. Fickle New England weather patterns would result in either too much thawed cider, or not enough. The result of this, was wasted cider and empty handed Christmas tree customers.
Using a little Yankee ingenuity, and with the help of many maple producing neighbors, Bill decided to evaporate the apple cider into a thick syrup. Under the same principal as making jelly, this cider concentrate was also shelf stable, and therefore ready to be used whenever needed. Now, when extra Christmas tree customers would show up looking for a hot drink, it was much easier to add water back to the cider concentrate than it was to thaw out a frozen gallon of cider.
How did the business develop from there?
Originally, we sold the Spiced Apple Cider Concentrate as a retail item, both in our farm store, and in various catalogs. It wasn’t until the local ski areas started asking if they could sell it as a food service item, that we changed our focus. The long shelf life and small footprint solved a lot of the logistical hassles of serving hot cider to skiers. Around this time, Starbucks was also coming on the scene and specialty coffee shops were popping up everywhere. Pretty soon, these coffee shops became our primary customer, and remain so to this day.
World domination, of course! In truth, we hope to keep the Mountain Cider Company as a family business. It’s nice to grow every year, but it’s also nice to have that personal touch, and the autonomy to make business decisions without too much bureaucracy. We live and work in a beautiful place, with a real sense of community. Success, to us, is to supply cider to as many folks as we can handle, without sacrificing our integrity. Aside from our food service size, we have been getting back into the retail market (by popular demand), as well as selling our concentrate in bulk to companies that make cider donuts, ice cream, and even moonshine.
What do you get up to when you’re not making cider?
We like to take advantage of all that Vermont has to offer. Will, personally, enjoys camping at the Chittenden Reservoir, exploring the backroads of Vermont, bar trivia at The Alley, finding new places to eat, helping out local non-profits, seeing shows at the Paramount Theater, and practicing his hygge.
— Will, and the rest of the Gormly Family