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Hidden Gems: Meet John Staples of Fairweather Cider Co.

Today we’d like to introduce you to John Staples.

Hi John, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
As a Spanish-English / English-Spanish translator by trade, my education and curiosity led me to northern Spain for some time. There I discovered Spanish Ciders and how much fun people have drinking them. It’s not pretentious, it’s messy, it’s loud, it rules. I moved to Austin a couple of years later in 2011 and quickly found my options were quite limited. I started trialing recipes and working on basic brand identity around 2014. Raised a modest amount of cash mostly through angel funding and started buildout on our space in 2016. Opened in 2017 AND BEEN SMELLING THE VAN EVER SINCE.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Nothing but obstacles when it comes getting products to market. We are using six times the vendors we used to in order to make consistent products in terms of packaging and sourcing fruit. We were fortunate to have a good network of bars and restaurants that have stayed committed to Fairweather. Now we are available statewide and have great distribution partners but the competition is more and more serious all the time.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
We specialize in making very dry and approachable ciders. The cider category isn’t known for a lot of innovation or fun. Things are either cheaply made and sweet but can also be quite unapproachable. We start with very high-quality apples and ferment them to dry and add no sugars or additives of any kind. Our brand is fun and inclusive and ready to party. Regarding the brand, I am most proud of the consistency and recognizability. For me, it is extremely important not only to engage new customers and turn them into return customers but as you update your product lineup and/or brand to keep the aesthetic inspiration on the same plane so your customers can evolve with you.

The crisis has affected us all in different ways. How has it affected you and any important lessons or epiphanies you can share with us?
If you weren’t hungry for success before or during, you should find something else to do. All of the businesses I feel are relevant to Austin’s food and beverage scene emerged stronger. I feel like we are significantly stronger and the quality of our products are more dialed than ever before. The global supply chain continues to show signs of vulnerability and we as market suppliers are working around the clock to continually update the way we do business not only to maintain our current market presence but also grow it. And keep partying while we do it, lol.

Pricing:

  • 4 Packs are $9.99 at most every HEB, Central Market, Whole Foods and Trader Joes
  • 12 packs are $19.99!

Contact Info:


Image Credits:

The photo of our 12pk was taken by Ashlyn Smith

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