For nearly 40 years, Pankiewicz Cider Mill & Farm Market
has been a staple in the Blue Water Area.
The small-scale cider mill located on Lindsey Road in Casco Township found its roots in the 1970s when Stanley “Stan” Pankiewicz II planted a few apple trees on his property. He added more periodically throughout the years, but in the 1980s his children helped him plant 350 trees to increase the availability of the fruit.
Photos of the property, family, and its first profit hang on the wall at the entrance to the market, located at 10377 Lindsey Rd. in Casco Township.
“I remember being picked up from grade school as a little boy and my brother Mike and I were taken by dad to cider mills to press the apples we grew on the farm to be able to offer our cider through small farmers markets in the fall,” says Steve Pankiewicz, the youngest of Stan’s three sons.
Stan's first wife Helenjune died in 1994. He got remarried to Sharon, who ran the cider mill with him until they retired last November when Steve and his wife Theresa took over the business.
Many family members have contributed to the business throughout the years, including the couple’s five children who offer their support as much as they can as they pursue their own careers.
“My brother Stanley [III] and I are working together to continue on the family farm as a team,” says Steve Pankiewicz.
(From left) Stanley Pankiewicz III, Steve Pankiewicz, Theresa Pankiewicz, Josiah Pankiewicz, and Andrew Pankiewicz pose for a photo at Pankiewicz Cider Mill & Farm Market on Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021.
In addition to apple varieties such as McIntosh, Honeycrisp, Rome, Paula Red, Golden Delicious, Jonathan, Mutsu, and Winesap, the farm grows other fruits and vegetables including sweet corn, squash, and pumpkins.
They create a variety of freshly made products such as pies, apple cider, caramel apples, and donuts. The store also offers items such as honey, salad dressings, and preserves.
“Customers can experience and expect great customer service and a great product line, all in a small quiet country setting,” says Steve Pankiewicz.
Jeff and Dawn Schweiger pose for a photo with their children Madison (left) and Luke at Pankiewicz Cider Mill & Farm Market.
"It's nice because it's small, quiet, and the donuts are good. We really like it here," says Dawn Schweiger. "Everyone's really friendly and it's right in our backyard basically. We've been here a couple of times and every time we come it's been great."
As for the growth of the cider mill and farm? That’ll be reserved for just the apple trees and crops as they wish to stay small and maintain that cozy, family feel characteristic of the business.
“I’m not interested in becoming a mass-quantity producer,” says Steve Pankiewicz. “I’m going to stay a small-time, quality producer.”
“It’s about the people, not the big commercialization,” says Stanley Pankiewicz III. “And that's what dad really started, so we're carrying on that mom-and-pop tradition.”
Pankiewicz Cider Mill & Farm Market employees and sisters, Charlene Hardy and Alyssa Hardy, pose for a photo in between prepping donuts.
Pankiewicz Cider Mill & Farm Market is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday until the end of the season. To learn more or see current offerings, visit facebook.com/pankiewiczcidermill
or on Instagram @pankiewicz_cidermill