Family businesses gathered at Sheppy’s Cider on a beautiful early autumn evening for a walking tour of the orchards, press house and vat house, followed by a fully guided tasting of the award-winning cider and a locally sourced supper in the Apple Bay Restaurant, organised by leading accountancy firm PKF Francis Clark.
The evening, kindly hosted by Louisa Sheppy, provided the opportunity to learn about the history and development of the business, as well as meet and talk to others in the family business sector.
Martin Lock, Partner at PKF Francis Clark, welcomed guests in the old cider vat and introduced Louisa, who briefly talked through the history of the business. Over 200 years of making real craft cider, six generations of the Sheppy’s family have weathered the ups and downs of combining farming with cider-making by embracing change and opportunity.
In recent years Sheppy’s Cider has created brand new production facilities, releasing the old brick buildings for development. In April 2017 they opened the doors to Sheppy’s House of Cider and Fine Foods; a larger shop, café, bar and restaurant providing a contemporary venue for visitors. The newly formed Apple Bay bar and restaurant occupies the space once used to store harvested apples during the pressing season, and visitors can now enjoy a meal and glass of hand-crafted cider within the old board walls of the apple bay.
Martin Lock said:
“Based on the great feedback that I have received, those that attended had a thoroughly enjoyable evening. Family businesses represent around two-thirds of all businesses in the UK, and generate nearly one-quarter of UK GDP. To see so many different family businesses represented – of all sizes, and from different sectors – shows how important family businesses are within Somerset. My sincere thanks to Louisa and her team at Sheppy’s, which is itself a fine example of a long-standing family business. To see what the family has achieved in terms of diversifying and developing the business, whilst not losing sight of their core values, was a real privilege.”