Customer Profile: Sandford Orchards
View from inside the liberated Creedy Valley Cider Works, now owned by Sandford Orchards.
Amongst the rolling hills that are the Devon Countryside, you'll find our next customer profile. We previously looked at Exeter Brewery who make a variety of beers within the city walls; this time we head further out to the greenery of Crediton where we find Sandford Orchards: A Cider Maker who recently expanded their operation into a notable building in cider history... "It's nice to get the old building back and doing what it was made to do" says Sandford Orchards' Dan Poulson. "The Cider Works was built in 1935 by Creedy Valley Cider who were one of Devon's biggest cider makers at the time. Bulmers bought up a lot of their competition in the mid-sixties and they aquired the site in 1967. Since then it's been allsorts." Sandford Orchards bought the building in 2014 and are working tirelessly to bring the site back to its former glory. Sandford Orchards started life back in 2002 when owner Barny Butterfield used to make cider whilst working as a farm hand. Fast forward 13 years and they are now making just shy of a million litres of raw cider a year.
Dan Poulson stands next to the gigantic barrels of cider!
Proper Devon Cider: that's the slogan that Sandford Orchards have adopted and they're on a mission to prove to the public what a real cider tastes like. "The reason why produce is good around here is we have nice soil; it grows nice grass and grows nice apple trees. It's all part of the local ecosystem. We only make cider cold-fermented from the whole juice of Devon cider apples" remarks Dan. "We've gone from being a local producer and in the deep end of the small pool, to the shallow end of the big pool. We're now contending against huge companies with multi-million pound marketing budgets. Competing with those guys is a different ball game but by staying true to our values we know that our cider can go toe to toe with any in the world" Around the premises you'll find all sorts and sizes of Industrial Hose & Fittings supplied by Derek Lane & Co. It's important, especially in the Food & Beverage Industry, to use Hose & Fittings that won't spoil what travels through it; on our shelves we carry various FDA Approved Food Grade Products to keep any produce unspoilt. You wouldn't want an alcoholic beverage that tasted of plastic, would you?
An early 60s picture from Creedy Valley Cider's Production Room
When walking around the Cider Works, there's a distinct marriage of old and new and it creates a humbling atmosphere; The building itself is standing timeless and for the majority unaltered, yet what lies inside the walls has been contemporised where possible without losing the original charm. The production line is now a lot shinier than the above picture but it isn't a million miles from home. If cider is your thing, we strongly recommended to arrange a visit and see the works for yourself. Next time you're in a pub, keep an eye out amongst the ciders for Sandford Orchards and literally get a taste of Devon! Have a look at their website for more info!