A Swiss-inspired cidery is starting the new year with a new morning routine.
Waldschänke Ciders, which opened in Sunnyside in the fall, expects to start serving drip and specialty coffees by late January.
The company is partnering with newly formed Mad Loon Coffee Roasters, founded by Zach Green. Waldschänke co-owner John Dufresne said the cidery will open at 6 a.m. or 6:30 a.m. for coffee — compared to noon or 3 p.m. now — and serve both coffee and ciders beginning around 3 p.m.
Waldschänke Ciders opened at 4100 Jason St. on Oct. 2. The business is owned by John, his wife Ruth Dufresne and his son Keane Dufresne. Keane’s wife, Kelley Dufresne, is the cidery’s marketing director.
John said offering coffee was the business’ plan from the beginning. About one-third of the 3,700-square-foot space is used for the taproom and soon-to-be coffeehouse, while the remaining square footage is used to produce the ciders.
“Originally we were going to try to do it in the same space, as far as the roasting goes,” John said. “But we didn’t feel like we had enough production space.”
The partnership with Mad Loon formed when Kelley worked with Green at a coffee shop in Morrison called Tomari’s.
“The more we talked about our personal business goals and dreams, it became evident we shared the same passion for craft, quality, integrity and community,” Green said in an email. “Our partnership was a no-brainer.”
Since the cidery doesn’t have room for Green to roast coffee, Mad Loon will move its roasting operation from Green’s home in Lakewood to Tomari’s later this month.
Kickstarter campaign to raise funds fell short
Keane said a water filtration system and additional equipment is needed to build out the coffeehouse. To pay for the additions, the business started a Kickstarter campaign, with the goal of raising $12,000 by Dec. 28.
“This place took a lot longer than we anticipated in getting (it) open,” John said. “It was a year to find the building; it was almost two years … to actually get the doors open. And at that point in time, funds get a little tight.”
The Kickstarter campaign, however, came up short of its goal, meaning the business didn’t receive any of the $4,577 that was pledged.
John said the co-owners will pay for the improvements in the wake of the failed campaign.
Four new ciders to be introduced soon
Swiss-style ciders are unfiltered. Waldschänke began serving its own product in December, when it debuted Base Kämp, a light, juicy, hazy cider.
In the next month, the business expects to introduce four new flavors, including a cider fermented in a whiskey barrel.
The Dufresne family was inspired to start its own cidery after visiting one with a similar name, Waldschenke, in Switzerland. Ruth’s father had worked there in the 1930s.
“There’s a long family history as far as enjoying cider,” John said in a previous interview. “That was one of my first exposures, this tavern out in the middle of the woods.”
John formerly worked in IT but was laid off in 2016. So he and Ruth decided to pursue their dream of opening a cidery.