Third generation farm family raises crops and serves them in their restaurant
How did TCBC start? Bill Schultz traveled to Europe in 2010 and 2012 and discovered a thriving hard cider business. He came home, did some homework and found a promising market. Bill proposed an idea to his family: adding a “new dimension” (hard cider) to the farm.
Adding extra facets is par for the course. The Schultz family is known for taking chances. William’s father, Victor and his wife, Dorothy, sold everything in 1951 to purchase the farm – then 80 acres.
In the 1970’s William and Denise added a farm market and in 1994 a buffalo herd. Then, around 2012, the family established Schultz’s Donut Depot – a rustic log cabin on wheels that makes on-the-spot apple cinnamon donuts. So, in 2013, they started brewing that hard cider.
For the previous 15 years the weather had been difficult. The Schultzs sought a non-climate dependent business addition: a tasting room for their craft beers and hard ciders. That idea snowballed into a restaurant. When Denise discovered a former church for sale five miles from their farm they snapped it up.
“We stepped out of our comfort zone a long time ago,” William says, laughing.
By 14-years old, William displayed entrepreneurial spirit and boldness to try new things. He launched a chicken business on his father’s vegetable farm that swiftly grew into a 600-egg incubator operation to hatch chicks. It funded a major purchase.
“I bought a Mustang Cobra,” William, now 61, recalls. “Black with red striping. $5,400 bucks.”
But it isn’t only the men in this family that keep this operation fruitful. Denise and their daughter, Robyn Schultz, manage the farm market; Andrew’s wife, Ruth Schultz, and his stepson, Nolan Fillar, work at TCBC; and Dan’s wife Audrey Schultz – a photographer – takes the photographs that adorn the restaurant walls.
What’s next? The ideas never stop, they admit.
Andrew smiles and adds, “You’ve got to know when to go for it and when not to.”
© 2017 Encore Publications/Brian Powers
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