The image of ‘over-ice’ cider – popularised by the likes of Magners and Bulmers in the mid-noughties – has broadened as more consumers in the UK seek out premium craft varieties.
One producer that led this trend and is reaping the benefits is Aspall. The Suffolk-based cyder, juice and vinegar company dates back to 1728 when Clement Chevallier planted his first apple trees at Aspall Hall. Today, the business is owned and run by his eighth-generation descendants, Barry and Henry Chevallier Guild, who continue to grow and press apples on site.
“We are very clear about who we want to deal with and make sure that our customers receive exceptional service in terms of support, delivery and logistics”
Barry and Henry Chevallier Guild, owners, Aspall
According to the brothers, a humble obsession with the apple in all its glory and a passion for the quality of the products, even in tough times, has driven all eight generations of the Chevallier family. “This unswerving focus has made Aspall a modern British success story,” they explain. “We operate at the premium end of the market with high-quality products that represent value for money. We are very clear about who we want to deal with and make sure that our customers receive exceptional service in terms of support, delivery and logistics.”
The business spans four centuries but Aspall, an emblem of the modern British artisan, is continuing to adapt and evolve. Substantial production upgrades at a time when “economic pressures were severe” and a major rebranding exercise in 2014 signal its commitment to the future.
1728 – The year in which Clement Chevallier planted his first apple trees at Aspall Hall
According to Barry and Henry, being clear about what you stand for is key for any small business starting out. “Imagine in your wildest dreams how big your business could grow and then ask yourself the question: ‘Can I or will I be making my product or delivering my service in exactly the same way as when I started?’ If the answer is ‘no’, be prepared to take the flack if people start saying that your product or service isn’t what it was when you started.”
- Sector: Food & Beverage
- Region: Suffolk