WJR Business Beat

WJR Business Beat with Jeff Sloan: Blake’s Hard Cider is a Winning Formula (Episode 163)

On this morning’s WJR Business Beat, Jeff shares the story of a visionary entrepreneur in our region, Andrew Blake. Blake, a third-generation entrepreneur, came up with an idea to expand his family business by creating a product to sell at retail. The product is Blake’s Hard Cider, and it’s a winner.

Tune in to this morning’s WJR Business Beat to hear Blake share his vision and incredibly successful execution of Blake’s Hard Cider:

“We’re at the point now where we’re an extremely sought-after brand within the industry. We’re the fastest growing hard cider company in the country, and one of the fastest growing alcohol companies in the country.”

– Andrew Blake

In case you missed it, tune in to our StartupNation Radio show featuring Andrew Blake, in which he shares his expertise on getting a product to retail. To learn more about Andrew Blake, check out his expert profile on StartupNation, and tune in to his weekly podcast, “Everything Borrowed.

Tune in to News/Talk 760 AM WJR weekday mornings at 7:11 a.m. for the WJR Business Beat. Listeners outside of the Detroit area can listen live HERE.

Are you an entrepreneur with a great story to share? If so, contact us at [email protected] and we’ll feature you on an upcoming segment of the WJR Business Beat!

Good morning, Paul.

How do you take an old school business that’s been in the family for over a hundred years and turn it into a retail juggernaut, growing at breakneck speed to the tune of tens of millions of dollars in sales?

Well, we’ve got a story of a visionary entrepreneur leading a business right in our region that’s doing just that.

The business is Blake’s Apple Orchard, and the visionary is Andrew Blake, a third-generation family member who came up with an idea to grow their family’s u-pick apple orchard by creating a product to sell at retail. The product is Blake’s Hard Cider, and it’s a winner.

We recently featured Andrew on StartupNation and he told us his story.

Andrew, how did you make this happen?

I grew up on one of the farms, I was very close to the family business. It had grown to a certain point of, you know, I think we were at about 500 employees seasonally, and we had been perfecting our sweet cider apple blend for 70 years. So, I did what any expert does and I get on YouTube and start learning how to make hard cider in my garage at college, because I wanted to be able to prove out the idea to see if this stuff would even taste good, if, you know, people would be interested in it. And presented to my dad and uncle this idea of a hard cider company.

And your dad and your uncle embraced your vision, Andrew, and you guys went after this full bore, and now your product is available at most major grocery chains in our area and expanding rapidly nationally. Tell us how your vision and the execution of it has contributed to your company’s overall success.

We’re at the point now where we’re an extremely sought-after brand within the industry. We’re the fastest growing hard cider company in the country, and one of the fastest growing alcohol companies in the country. This year, we employed just over 900 people seasonally and probably 250 or so full-time.

It’s such an amazing thing when an entrepreneur’s idea and vision becomes such a powerful and positive reality. Congratulations, Andrew Blake, you are an inspiration!

I’m Jeff Sloan, founder and CEO of StartupNation.com, and that’s today’s Business Beat on the Great Voice of the Great Lakes, WJR.

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