The pandemic has put a strain on so many small businesses and I thought I would do my part to support them in a weekly feature that we’ll call Small Business Saturdays.
I realize that not all of our readers live in the Region of Durham, Ontario (or even Canada), so I will try to highlight those who have an online presence and have services or products that can be enjoyed by a wider market.
I’m going to kick this feature off with a visit to one of my favourite places to go in the fall – Archibald’s Orchards & Winery. If you want a taste of the country air and to catch the last of the fall colours before we head into our drearier months of winter, you need to come out here and if you live in the east-end of the Greater Toronto Area, I promise that it’s worth the drive.
If you know me well, you know that I have a slight addiction to hard cider. More specifically, you might know that I have an absolute favourite and it is produced right here in my hometown of Bowmanville, Ontario. I am NOT a beer drinker and I have never been a fan of canned cider that has that beer after-taste. Do you love apples? Because their hard cider is like fresh sunshine in your mouth. They have six different flavours of hard cider and delicious sparkling, non-alcoholic options as well. Their wine list ranges from Dry & Off Dry Table Wines to decadent Dessert Wines. They have something for every time, place, mood and food.
In 1999, Archibald’s wines were what we served at our wedding; when I had my first child, I was greeted with a case of their hard cider when I came home from the hospital (because friends knew how much I had missed it while pregnant); when I moved to Calgary, I had it shipped out to keep me from getting too homesick and if you visit the arrival terminal at the Calgary International Airport, you might still be able to smell the cider on the luggage turnstile from when my dummy ex-husband tried to unsuccessfully pack bottles loosely in his suitcase after a trip back home. For every visitor that we ever have to the area, I always make sure that a trip to the winery is on top of the list.
Fred and Sandy Archibald are one of the nicest couples in this area and you are always greeted with a warm smile when you visit. Archibald’s is a fourth generation family farm located only 12 km north of Hwy #401 in Bowmanville, Ontario. This beautiful 40 acre property is an ideal orchard site with a southwesterly slope and pride of home and business is very apparent.
Originally established in 1967 as a wholesale operation, Fred & Sandy have expanded the farm to include Pick Your Own apples (1983), and an Apple Market & a Fruit Winery (1997). The apple season runs from September to late fall. However, the winery is open March to December with wines, hard ciders, non-alcoholic ciders, preserves, cheeses, gift giving ideas & baskets.
Their indoor Winery Store and Apple Market are also open for purchase of apples, fresh apple cider, baking, preserves, crafts and of course apple wines and hard ciders. They are wheel chair accessible, with a ramp onto the porch. Indoor washrooms are also accessible. Curbside service is still available Monday to Friday. Just phone in your order & they will bring it out to your car when you arrive. On the weekend they offer the option to order apples, pies, wine, etc… Orders can be placed by email with a deadline of 3 p.m. for pick up the next day. Please make sure to include your name, phone number, date & time for pick up.
If you can’t make the trip to the winery, I hope you will consider putting in an order to have it delivered to you. But if you CAN make the trip, why don’t you consider making a day of it and checking out a handful of other incredible local farmers, artists & rural businesses that make up A Country Path.
I’m trying my best to pay it forward by dealing hope and sharing stories & tips on caregiving and how to survive hard things. I blog a lot about single parenting my adult twin sons who both have autism, and the challenges we face in surviving the everyday challenges and planning for a future full of unknowns.