We’ve got big plans
It was an average Wednesday and Mike Petersen said, “I think we should bid on Tract 1 of the Klackle property” (full disclosure — April, his wife, said no thank you). That was the beginning of the adventure. By 6:30 that night the Petersens were the new owners of a 40-acre orchard, a 20-acre pumpkin patch and in total 75 acres of agri-tainment property. Prior to that day they hadn’t even discussed purchasing it. But from that moment on they knew they were the right people to reinvent a beloved fall tradition in the West Michigan area.
Generations of families have picked apples, eaten donuts, taken wagon rides, smiled for photos and made proposals on this land. We knew we had to reopen this gathering space for generations to come. In the days that followed our impulsive purchase we googled things like “how to grow apples”. We began dreaming about what our new “boutique orchard” would become. We found a barn restoration expert and contracted him to bring our 120-year old barn back to life as an event venue. We met with a local coffee roaster and were sold on their commitment to excellence in taste and process. We hired the perfect marketing team to bring our vision into reality with mood boards, color schemes and logos. We even tested out the donut machines to make sure the recipe tasted just right (mission accomplished, by the way).
Before the ink was dry on the property sale we had to get to work in the apple orchard. We needed a tractor. And equipment. And someone experienced with these things (thank heaven for Roberto). We’re doing the work and are anticipating our first crop this fall. We don’t claim to be apple growers yet but if all goes well, this fall we are officially changing our titles.
Our first fall was crazy, hectic and full of learning opportunities. We successfully harvested our first apples, welcomed families to enjoy picking apples, take wagon rides and taste the donuts they've loved for generations. We began to build our team, we finalized plans for massive renovations and most importantly learned what works and what doesn't.
We will forever be grateful for the patience and generosity we were shown in our first season.
In March 2020 our renovated Kaffebar will open in the front of the main building. It will feature patio seating and soon we hope to introduce a drive through window. We'll serve MADCAP coffee, donuts, bagels, breakfast sandwiches and more. It will become your favorite morning stop to get some work done, meet a friend or grab breakfast on the go.
Summer 2020 will bring the opening of The Market featuring fresh meats, cheeses, produce, dairy, fresh flowers, cider, donuts and more. This new market venue will allow you to get the freshest products in a lovely environment.
This fall we anticipate opening The Cidery, a casual indoor/outdoor gathering space & tavern featuring private labeled wines & ciders as well as spirits of all sorts. In addition we look forward to harvesting our 80 acres of apples, offering you-pick apples and wagon rides through the orchard and adding new fall family events.
Our wedding barn and reception spaces will be renovated throughout 2020 and we'll introduce more event spaces throughout the property as we grow.
Welcome back to the orchard. It’s time to fall in love with it all over again.