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Supplier Series: Appleflats Foods
Have you ever wondered where the delicious crabapple jelly in our Almond Butter Jelly Time Ice Cream comes from? This Tell-All Thursday we had the chance to ask Glen of Appleflats a little bit about their booming crabapple business!
How large is your orchard, how do you harvest your crabapple crop?
Our orchard is roughly 250 crabapples trees, and we harvest them similar to olives. We shake the tree so the fruit drops into nets we have waiting below and roll those nets into storage bins to be weighed.
What has been the most exciting part of starting up Appleflats?
I think the most exciting part of starting Appleflats is changing the perception of this mostly forgotten fruit. When people try it for the first time it changes there mind on what these tiny apples are like and that is a really cool experience to watch.
What is something that you’d like our customers to know about Appleflats?
There are two big things we want customers to know. First is we hire college students to pick our apples, no temporary foreign labour. That means that these apples are harvested in your community by community members. The second is that our trees are spray free. This is important because it helps the bees and furthers the symbiotic, or win-win relationship our trees have with the rest of their environment. So I guess the important thing is to take the relationships of the trees and humans into account.
A crabapple mixer is a really cool idea, what inspired you to start making mixers as well as Jelly?
Honestly, that came out of our own disappointment with mixed drinks. When we would go talk to a restaurant chef about using our jelly, we would often order a drink at the bar. Time and time again we were really disappointed in the drinks we got back, especially since they were sometimes $15. That was the point where we set out to make our crabapple into a mixer so people could have top shelf drinks. It was always a focus on simplicity: that's why our mixes have the recipes on the side and all that is required is ice, your favourite alcohol and half a bottle of the appleflats mixers.
To someone who hasn't really eaten crabapple products how would you explain what they are and how they taste?
What they are is simple; a cherry-sized apple and people are actually often familiar with what they are, but won't have ever eaten one. Just thrown them at a friend; they are excellent projectiles.
I think the best way to describe the crabapple came from an 8-year-old boy who tried our stuff and said it tasted like "An angry green apple" (Granny Smith). I always thought that was a pretty funny description of the flavour.
What is one thing that is an absolute must try from Appleflats?
I think the one I would recommend for summer is our Sweet Maple Crabapple mixer. Especially for summer drinks, or possibly drinks over the course of a few days, the low sugar will help you feel better after and the simplicity to make drinks means you don't need 20 minutes and a full bar to make something delicious. Its as easy as rum and coke but way less sugar and way more interesting a flavour.