|Grant Howes, Owner, Cider Maker and Orchardist
Grant first worked the family apple farm on weekends as a young man in the late 1970’s; coming home from his Toronto job in finance and working hard all weekend pruning, planting, mowing and harvesting as well as doing work on the farmhouse renovations with his family.
After moving away to BC to start a family and pursue his entrepreneurial dreams he chanced upon a cidery on Vancouver Island that changed his life forever. Grant started making trips back to Ontario and experimenting with the apples on the family farm to determine the hard cider potential and after several trials he came up with a winning recipe.
Within a year Grant had produced a cider that impressed the LCBO and within two years he was on store shelves across Ontario. Now, in 2014, the business has expanded to include kegs, a retail store and licensed patio, production facilities and expanded apples varieties.
Grant continues to pursue his passion of orcharding and creating new ciders.
|Jenifer Dean, General Manager and Cider Maker
Busy changing hats all the time, Jenifer works in production and human resources during the winter and runs the retail store and licensed patio during the summer season. Her background in the service industry and as a wine technologist have given her all the necessary experience to keep pushing County Cider forward since 2000 when she started as a retail sales person in the tasting room.
Jenifer manages to keep track of everything and while it is a challenging job she loves it. “It’s never a dull day at County Cider”, (usually said in exasperation when things break down and go wrong!). She flits from farm to town, working on new cider flavours, overseeing the re-designing of the tasting room and outdoor kitchen, hiring and training new staff, filling out grant applications, washing dishes and floors and, eveyone’s favourite…signing paycheques!
Jenifer and her partner Grant are building a great team of people to work in the business so they can spend more time on the business (and on holiday!). They also love spending time with their two black Labrador ‘un-retreivers’, Dudley and Abbey at the farm.
|Dannielle Davidson, Production Manager & Cider Maker
Dannielle has worked on the farm at County Cider Company in various capacities since 1997. She left the Cider Company to pursue opportunity, adventure and travel for a few years and returned to Ontario to attend Loyalist College and earned a Diploma in Biotechnology in 2009.
After doing her graduation placement in the laboratory under the tutelage of Jenifer Dean, Dannielle stayed on with the Cider team and has since moved up to Production Manager. “My education in Biotechnology covered many aspects of what we do; both on the farm and in production – from grafting and biodiversity projects to stoichiometry, QA/QC and lab analysis. Everything else I learned on the job from Grant and Jenifer.”
Dannielle has developed a true love for craft cider and through her job she has traveled North America touring various cideries, breweries and attended many courses and seminars.
|Sean “S Dizzle” Ferguson, Assistant Cider Maker
Turning his back on the white collar business world to pursue a more gratifying way of life, Sean has found a home at the County Cider Company where he spends the majority of his day laughing and carrying on with fellow cider maker Danielle Davidson.
Although he’s only been in the cider game for a short time he’s quickly honing his skills in the art of cider making……. and drinking. His love of the work is rivaled only by his love for early to mid 90’s rock/hip hop music, which can be heard blasting through the warehouse at all hours of the day.
Sean “S Dizzle” Ferguson… Keeping his hoses in a row since 2013
|Charlotte Webb- Brand Ambassador
Charlotte began her journey with the County Cider Co. at the tender, young age of 18. She immediately fell in love with the beauty of the family run orchard and rich, historical property overlooking magnificent Lake Ontario.
Charlotte took delight in sharing her love of cider with visiting tourists from near and far each summer in the tasting room. After spending a year in England, her cider drinking skills at their peak, Charlotte returned to the County Cider Co. with a renewed enthusiasm for all things cider.
Now Charlotte will be hitting the road, eager in her quest to bring Waupoos Cider to a pub/bar/restaurant near you! xoxo #CiderGirl
|Mackenzie Vanhecke – Office Co-ordinator
Born and raised in Prince Edward County and now raising her adorable family right here. Mackenzie has done a lot of travelling over the years but there was always a pull to be back home. She has worked in the hospitality industry for over 15 years and brings her excellent customer service skills to all aspects of work at County Cider.
For the past year and a half she has worked in various capacities – both at our restaurant and at our production facility offices. Mackenzie is now our office co-ordinator and is our main point of contact for licensees and cider lovers from all over Ontario. She brings her level-headedness and friendly demeanor to all aspects of her job. Most importantly, she keeps us organized and on task – which can be difficult at times. Mackenzie’s mom says, “She is extremely dependable and steady as a rock! We are very lucky to have her in our lives!”
|Cassandra Dobosh – Restaurant Manager
Cassie comes by her job naturally. As part of the family she has been working in the retail store and restaurant from the age of 12. Working in the kitchen she chopped veggies and learned how to make a mean salsa! The chef would reward Cassie with chocolate bars for a job well done. As she got older she became a dishwasher and bus person and eventually a server. She also spent a lot of time helping with bottling/labelling.
She is also an accomplished cider assistant and loves to help in the production facility whenever she gets the chance. Many times she ran the office by herself when the bosses were all away and is very familiar with invoicing, filing and making deliveries to licensees. Now that she has completed several years of post secondary education in health and nutrition she has returned to take over running the restaurant. Cassie can be found this summer greeting and seating all of our visitors to the outdoor patio.
|Brenden Mullins (The Aussie) - Production Assistant
Born and raised in the great southern land of Australia, Brenden’s work history has seen him experience many fields; football umpiring, retail sales, education, construction and hospitality to name a few. At the age of 25, he decided it was time to see the world; his first stop being Canada (where he met his future wife). After travelling the world for a few more years, they decided Canada was where it’s at.
He spent the next five years working casually and raising two beautiful daughters. As the girls entered school, it was time for him to find a rewarding career. This brought him to The County Cider Company. Although he’s relatively new to the industry, he is attaining the skills and knowledge needed to be an integral part of the team. ‘The Aussie’, (as he has become affectionately known), continues to develop his love of craft cider and enjoys being a part of the County Cider family.
|Abbey (Abercrombie) & Dudley - Farm Ambassadors
Our two Black Labrador Unretreivers are brother and sister. Now 6 years old they love living the farm life; eating apples, running in the orchard, chasing mice/squirrels/chipmunks, swimming and sleeping.
Dudley can usually be found with an article of clothing in his mouth, tail wagging and following his master on the tractor. Abbey loves jumping on and licking everyone she meets and she can be counted on to track down the nearest mouse in a flash.
They are allowed to visit the tasting room after 4pm to get their daily treat from Paul, our tasting room guru.