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There are many things in starting a business I did not anticipate. The amount of work it took, beyond the extreme amount I expected. The amount of money it required, and continues to require, to run. The amount of sacrifice from our children, our parents, our friends, and eachother in time we couldn’t give, and can’t get back. The fear I carried deep in the pit of my stomach for the first several years, the feeling of treading water with barely keeping my head above.  The perpetual putting on hold of every part of myself beyond “cider” and “children”. All of that I did not expect.

But to tease that all apart is for some other time, or possibly never. I recognize it all comes off sounding like a chorus of violins, providing the soundtrack to a venture that truly is becoming awesome on every front, and that has been every bit worth the effort, money, and sacrifice. We are extremely grateful it is turning out as such.

Why I started this post was to share something else I did not anticipate.

My staff. Our team. The people that have come along to work at the cidery – they are incredible, each of them.  In the blur of dreaming, planning, pressing apples, filling bottles, filling orders, writing cheques, mopping floors  – repeat repeat repeat – I never thought about the gift that our staff would become. I didn’t expect that their lives intersecting with mine would become less of me providing a job for them, but rather them being teachers and inspirations to me.   Some faces have changed over our young existence, many are part-time or casual, but each of them  I feel so grateful that they have poured their efforts and selves into our business like it was their own.

This  was exemplified last Wednesday night. Returning home after some drinks to celebrate my dad’s birthday, I looked up the hill to the cidery and saw the lights still on, back door wide open.  Dad offered to drive me up just to “check it out”.

Parking lot full of their cars, tasting room crammed with people –  “SURPRISE”.

They performed a play worthy of a Tony award,  bringing our beloved BX Characters to life. Keyanna performed an original song, sung so beautifully I nearly cried (actually I think I did).

There was so much work, planning, creativity and fun poured into it all that I am still shaking my head over firstly – how grateful I am to have them my team this past season, and secondly, – how the heck they pulled it off without me finding out.

I am so grateful to each of them for making our cidery what it is, and for the positive impact each of them have had on my life.

(They even managed a photoshoot with the amazing Camillia Courts  on a sweltering day in late August.  Click on the pictures below to view as a slideshow. See if you can tell which of our Characters each person represents. They did an amazing job with their costumes and replicating our bottle illustrations.)

Winter in the Orchard
Not "That" Cascara