Have I mentioned lately how amazing it is to be working in partnership with the Franklin County Community Development Corporation- say that 5 times, fast! They offer guidance to anyone interested in starting a business, and they have provided us with a space to produce Fire Cider and continue to grow our small business. The CDC is currently under construction to expand their cold and dry storage, as well as their commercial kitchen. We are stoked to have more space to make more batches of Fire Cider.
Last year the CDC's loan program, headed by Alan Singer, made it possible for us to upgrade all of our equipment to food grade stainless steel. We were super happy to say goodbye to all of our plastic barrels. We found them homes as rain barrels!
Less than a year later, we approached Alan with another loan request, this time for two pieces of kitchen equipment that would save us many long hours in the kitchen, taking a lot of stress and physical labor out of making Fire Cider. The result? An awesome scrubbing tunnel that has turned a job that used to take 2 people working nonstop scrubbing organic horseradish for hours on end (just to prep that one ingredient for 2-3 batches of Fire Cider) into a 30 minute exercise. Yes, you read that correctly. Now, we can achieve even better results in just 30 minutes, and that includes setup, cleanup and break-down!
Here's a fun video of Dana and Brian trying out the scrubbing tunnel for the first time. It's a bit loud, so turn the volume down!
Here are the before and after photos. Can you tell we are super impressed with our investment?!
So fresh and so clean and ready to be turned into Fire Cider.
With our second loan we were also able to purchase a chopper for the lemons and oranges. Processing hundreds of pounds of citrus by hand is just asking for carpal tunnel, not to mention an injury waiting to happen. This chopper, with its graphic warnings, is definitely scarier than the chef's knives we've been using, and will save our hands and arms, as long as we keep them away from the blades!
All thumbs ups, not to worry, we have cut resistant gloves to protect our hands while cleaning the machine.
And here's our new chopper in action. Making batches Fire Cider just got a lot easier, which means that the three of us can safely continue making you Fire Cider for many years to come. Yup, this video is loud, too! What can I say, I'm working on my videographer skills!
We are super thankful to the CDC and their staff for supporting the growth of our small business. We truly couldn't do this without them! If you are thinking about starting a business, the CDC has you covered from the very beginning.