Complementary skills prove successful for cider business

James and Gail Kendell, combined their complimentary skills to make the successful Small Acres Cyder business. They are pictured here with their daughters Tillia and Mia.
Photo: CONTRIBUTED

James and Gail Kendell, combined their complimentary skills to make the successful Small Acres Cyder business. They are pictured here with their daughters Tillia and Mia. Photo: CONTRIBUTED

Knowledge of the agricultural industry and a love for cider have taken James and Gail Kendell a long way. 

The couple has been running Small Acres Cyder for the past nine years, well before the cider trend began.

"We started well before the cider fashion started three or four years ago," Mr Kendell said.

"We wanted to get into the business because we felt there was an opportunity for cider in Australia."

The husband and wife duo run four orchards of cider apples.

"Cider variety apples are very different to normal eating apples," Mr Kendell said.

The other reason they wanted to start their own cider business was because Ms Kendell, originally from Bristol in the United Kingdom, grew up drinking cider in her native country, but when she moved to Australia with James, couldn't find that European-style of cider that she enjoyed so much.

"After we got back from living in the UK, we lived in Sydney for a bit, but when we decided to do this we moved to Orange," Mr Kendell said.

Mr Kendell, who is originally from Lockhart, NSW, with a sheep and wheat background, and Gail with a marketing background and love of cider, have 'very complementing skills' to make this agribusiness work.

Small Acres Cyder produces 10 different styles of cider, including champagne-style ciders, stick dessert cider, Australian fortified cider and earlier this month they launched their first non-alcoholic cider.

Mr Kendell said their most popular selling ciders were the apple wine cider and Norfolk Still

"One of our other popular ciders is the Appscato, which is like a moscato," he said.

Mr Kendell said the apple cider harvest season was similar to the grape harvest season in Orange.

When the Western Magazine spoke to Mr Kendell last Wednesday, he said they finished picking last week.

"We're picking from February to April," he said.

"In autumn the trees go dormant and you need that cold snap to break dormancy, which is what Orange (temperature) has.

"It helps break dormancy for the flowers to blossom (which is in spring)."

Small Acres Cyder has customers across NSW including Sydney.

"Our customers are very NSW-based, but we also have distributors in Sydney who look after us there and on the coast," Mr Kendell said.

"There's still a lot of places in NSW where we'd like to approach. The next step would be taking the products to Victoria. Although there are restaurants and bottleshops selling our ciders in Melbourne.

"We sell in restaurants in Dubbo and Orange, as well as through our website where we ship Australia-wide and we also sell at the Forbes and Dubbo Farmers' Markets."

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