Sunday, 13 January 2013

Meet the 'team'

Okay 'team' is a bit of an exaggeration as Henney's truly is a one man band....



Mike Henney started cider making in Bishops Frome, Herefordshire in 1998. It all began with a cider making kit and some fermenting in the airing cupboard, but it wasn't long before he bought his own small press and a crop of cider apples.

Mike did everything himself - from late autumn nights working the press in his garage, to early mornings setting up his stall at farmers markets.
Thirteen years later and things have grown a bit. He now produces upwards of one million liters per year, and is on the shelves of all the major supermarkets.

And yet to this day Henney's remains a one man business.

Of course he has a bit of help now - apples are pressed on a rather larger scale at a farm on the edge of the village, fermenting takes place in large stainless steel tanks (no longer in the airing cupboard), and bottling and delivery are carried out by an independent firm in the nearby Forest of Dean.

But Mike still works from a small office at home - no flashy corporate premises - he still wears overalls and blends every single drop of Henney's cider himself. And then he puts on a shirt and tie to present his product to the retailers, cider bottles clinking in his briefcase.




As for me, well I don't know the first thing about cider making and certainly don't have an official role within Henney's - as I said it really is a one man business - but I just happen to live with Mike, to have a very good view of his life as a cider maker and to have some experience with social media, PR and so on.

My day job is selling toys, so a world away from apples, tankers and supermarkets. I am flat out in the few months running up to Christmas, but the rest of the year things are fairly quiet for me, so I should have plenty of time to badger Mike with questions, take photographs and write about the goings-on at Henney's.

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