With the New Year in full swing, we thought we’d reminisce over the past year and celebrate our successes! So, let’s try and break the year of 2018 down…
January 2018 – March 2018
January 2018 was spent consolidating after the completion of the move from Pembridge to Cheltenham which finished in the couple of months prior. Our staff were getting settled in to the new surroundings, as was the delicious cider whilst bubbling away in its new home. Although January saw new beginnings, it also saw the loss of a dear friend to Dunkertons – John Tedstone. It’s coming to a year since the passing of John, who was a cider and perry enthusiast and provided Dunkertons with the most variety of cider apples and perry pears out of all our growers. This year we were delighted to be able to still take fruit from John’s loved orchards, which is what he would have wanted, and we are working with the executives to continue to do so.
At the end of March, we welcomed Oli who deals with Business Development. Oli has had an extremely busy few months spreading the word of Dunkertons Organic Cider to our new neighbours and beyond!
April 2018 – June 2018
From April, the orchards in Pembridge are in full swing. These few months are prime for our orchards and our growers as it’s where we can start to determine how much produce we will get for harvest. Our crop this year was roughly a third less than usual, this isn’t uncommon in the apple growing world – some years have great crop then the next year it may not be as good, ultimately the trees need a year to rest.
These few months we also welcomed Charlotte who started at Dunkertons end of May. She looks after the processing of orders, exports, assists on marketing, cider traceability, and more recently has taken ownership of organising tours and events. We also introduced Nick our Production Manager who manages everything in terms of the production of cider from the day the apples are delivered to shipping out the bottles!
During this time of recruitment, we were all waiting ever so patiently for the completion of our offices and shop in the cidery… we watched the building being constructed from afar and waited in anticipation for a moving-in date.
July 2018 – September 2018
Finally came August. This month really was go, go, go! The wait was over, and we were able to move in to our offices with the final touches being made to our bespoke organic cider shop. This meant we could finally get the ball rolling in terms of organising our opening launch, and we were extremely busy with orders all over the globe as summer was in full swing.
Recruitment was on drive again whilst we said hello to our new retail manager Alan, and two shop assistants Ian and Trevor – if you need any help knowing what organic ciders to pick, these are the people to ask. We also welcomed our new accountant, Vicki, who joined right in the hustle and bustle of it all and deals with all thing’s accountancy based.
It’s safe to say we were busy but nevertheless, our launch was a success! It was an amazing event with VIP guests such as Susie Dunkerton, Helen Browning (Chief Executive of the Soil Association), the Mayor of Cheltenham, James Hagen (Skandel Group), and many more making an appearance. Not only did we have a brilliant turn out, but the date of 31st August meant we kicked off September’s Organic month which was a fantastic way to launch our shop full of our organic cider! A shout of to 10 YETIS, Kat Jameson, all at The Lucky Onion Group and Dowdeswell Estates, Octaga, Thrill Collins, Alex Hadden, and Dickie Butcher for all the help planning this unforgettable event.
October 2018 – December 2018
Since the launch we have been inundated with requests for tours, events, masterclasses, and even parties. With this we kick started our tours, and organised several events such as National Apple Day, our first corporate bespoke tour with Hazlewoods, an exclusive Halloween Tour, and a Christmas Fayre.
It’s been a fantastic couple of months, and we can’t wait to continue organising more tours, masterclasses, and events – with quite a few already booked in the diaries! Our first tour of the year is already sold out and bookings for the next available Masterclass and tour are already filling up - let this be a sign for a great year ahead.
Lastly, but not least, thank you to all of our loyal and new customers and suppliers – without you we couldn’t have come as far as we have today, and we look forward to continuing working with you all throughout the new year.
That’s our year in a nutshell. We can’t wait for what’s to come for Dunkertons in 2019.