BC Tree Fruit Broken Ladder
BC Tree Fruit Broken Ladder

Every cidery and cider maker has their own story. Whether it’s their award-winning recipe or the realization that their hobby has turned into a full-time profession! For both scenarios, scaling up was the only option was the conclusion in order to keep their dream alive. We’ve teamed up with the brilliant writers at CiderCulture to create an article on how we can help cider makers and their cider operations recognize a new level of business by investing in equipment that scales up their production capacity. Read the original story here.

How Do We Do That?  

Our equipment, manufactured by Kreuzmayr in Austria, along with the expertise of our team, aids in cideries and fruit processors scaling up the smart way. What does this look like? We help to improve efficiency while reducing labor costs and streamlining processes each step of the way.

One of our favorite client stories is a tale involving our friends over at BC Tree Fruits. They have been in the fruit growing market since 1932 and ventured into cider making to increase their product line for consumers. This new market was headlined by their flagship cider, Broken Ladder, soon to be an umbrella label for a variety of different award-winning cider.

Due to their sheer amount of fruit, they knew a small press was not an option and had to be prepared to think big. That’s when we entered the picture. They outlined their pressing goals and working together, we both decided that an initial investment in a KEB 750 Single Belt Press was going to be the perfect fit. Sure enough, it did exactly as promised but what was not expected was the surge in customer demand!

Side view of the Double Belt Press at BCTF
Side view of the Double Belt Press at BCTF

The press could hardly keep up with the cider demand in their first year! This is quite a good problem to have!

Recognizing this rapid growth, we knew we wanted to help BC Tree Fruits keep up their momentum and launch them to be in the ideal market position as cider makers. In terms of investment, this meant the purchase of a second KEB 750. 

Yet again, they exceeded their expectations and still, those two presses were not enough to satisfy consumer demand.  Time to start thinking even bigger. That meant trading in the old for the new. Juicing.Systems offers a buyback program that allows our customers to trade in their current Kreuzmayr equipment and take off the value from the ticket price of their new investment.


 So What Did That Mean to BC Tree Fruits?  


What is the next logical step up from a couple of KEB 750 Single Belt Presses?

Can you guess? If you said a Double Belt Press, you’re one smart cookie!


Utilizing the buyback program, BC Tree Fruits sold back their two KEB 750’s and took the value off their new investment of largest Double Belt Press, a K2B 1500. Right away, the larger press made a huge difference to the production team.


Installing the K2B 1500 double belt press line
Installing the K2B 1500 double belt press line

Operations manager and cider maker extraordinaire, Blain Weber has a wealth of hands-on knowledge working intimately with both sizes of presses. In his interview with writer Emily Kovach with CiderCulture, he says, “Pressing fruit is all about yield efficiency and having equipment that minimizes downtime is critical. With the Double Belt Press, we were able to increase efficiency from 70-75% to 80-85%, we were able to get more from our fruit.”


 Every Drop Counts!  


As well as improving work conditions, the equipment upgrade allowed BC Tree Fruits to meet customer demand while adding to their bottom line by getting a better yield out of their fruit.


That covers the higher yields, but we had mentioned reducing labor costs. So how did BC Tree Fruits manage that? Typically with two KEB 750s, two employees were required to clean each press. Now with only one press, Blain explains how they only needed one employee to clean the K2B 1500. Less time spent cleaning means these employees can shift their job focus to areas such as packaging, recipes, marketing, and all sorts of other aspects needed to operate a large scale cider operation.


Time-saving was also a big factor that changed BC Tree Fruits’ operation dramatically. With their two KEB’s they were filling a 40,000 tank full of juice in approximately four days. Now with their new K2B, they can fill that tank each day! This eliminates the need to store apples, as the press capacity rose from 6-7 bins per hour to an enormous 30 bins an hour!


 New Market Opportunities 


Similar to our other clients, this pressing capacity allowed them to reach a new level of business they weren’t expecting; press for hire!


Double belt press being installed
Double belt press being installed

Neighbors and other fruit processors heard of BC Tree Fruit’s story of incredible growth and wanted to take part. Though having a dedicated system wasn’t practical for their production volumes, other local producers knew they wanted to get the most out of their fruit. High yields and reduced labor inputs were an opportunity they were hard-pressed to say no to! BC Tree Fruits recognized this need in their community and jumped on board to partner with other local cideries and wineries to provide a contract pressing service.

Scaling up is no small business decision, and takes the buy-in from all involved. It won’t be easy but the opportunity for long-term growth could be just the boost to set your operation on the journey to success.


Are you ready?