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End of an Era for Avon Cider Mill

Waterville Road landmark will close this fall.

All of the big orange pumpkins and Macoun apples will be sold and the children’s red wagons will be packed away for good. It will be the end of an era. When this autumn's harvest season ends, the Avon Cider Mill will close its doors for good.

The big red barn on Waterville Road (Route 10) in Avon has been a town landmark since 1918, when the family-run business was established. But perhaps all good things must come to an end. That means customers will no longer be able to enjoy the farm market’s homemade apple cider or famed apple fritters.

For many years, customers came from miles away for the 13 varieties of apples from the Hudson River Valley and homemade jams, jellies, preserves and hot sauces. The smell of fresh-made pies and cookies permeated the market. Honey sticks and fudge squares were also big sellers along with flowers such as mums in the fall and annuals in springtime. The store operated from mid-March through Christmas Eve.

There has been much speculation that the business is closing because the land it sits on and which surrounds the Cider Mill has just been sold. The owners of the Avon Cider Mill did not own the land where they operated their business. Recent stories on Avon Patch have reported that this spring, the Capitol Region Education Council (CREC) bought 10.99 acres of land from landowner Dr. Roy Beebe, according to David Fresk, CREC project manager. The purchase price was nearly $2.7 million. CREC plans to build its new Reggio Magnet School of the Arts on the site, which could open as early as January 2014.

Repeated attempts for a comment from Jim Lattizori, co-owner of the Cider Mill, were unsuccessful. He declined to be interviewed for this article, saying he and his brother “just want to do our own thing and walk away.”

Lisa Bohman, executive director of the Avon Chamber of Commerce, who remembers going as a child to buy pumpkins at the Avon Cider Mill, commented, “It’s just a shame to lose such a long-historied business in Avon. Economically, it’s impactful not just for the owners but also for local vendors and customers. Anytime you lose a business, it’s impactful.”

Nora Howard, who is the official historian for the town of Avon, said she's always been a customer, and in fact, when her son was growing up, he insisted she only buy cider from the Avon Cider Mill, because it was the best.

 "It was a fixture," she said. "I'm sad to see a local landmark pass."

The Avon Cider Mill, 57 Waterville Road in Avon is open daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Call (860) 677-0343 for more information.

Wyatt October 15, 2012 at 01:21 PM
Local landmark shut down to make way for CREC - the epitome of big government takeover of education and social engineering.
Mark pawlicki October 15, 2012 at 01:37 PM
Everything has a price....
d harrington October 15, 2012 at 01:59 PM
Sad! Very sad! Not a year went by with out stopping at the Mill. Schools are big business, they (administrators) are now GPSing students because as stated in the news, schools get $30.00 a head per day for attendance alone from the Fed. I guess when the apple rots you toss it for a loss. But when your producing bad apples as students you can make a bundle! Parking lot would be better.
Jean Barton October 15, 2012 at 02:57 PM
The loss is another reminder of the "changes" we face as we grow ... some for the better, some not so much. Jim and his brother have been long time merchants delivering wonderful plants and produce to us and we thank them for that, now as a memory. Jim always would make sure that he donated geraniums or mums to the Volunteer Fire Department for the stations if asked. We will miss them.
Capri Frank October 15, 2012 at 04:11 PM
As a child, I will always remember going to the Avon Cider Mill with my dad. it was across the street from my grandparents house and we used to walk over and buy apples and cider. One thing is always certain....change is inevitable. Those who grew up in Avon will always remember the Avon Cider Mill as a landmark. Memories live on.......
Jack Ryan October 15, 2012 at 06:36 PM
Government destroys another small business to may way for... more government.
Nick Frazee October 15, 2012 at 06:44 PM
Little old Avon keeps growing and growing.
Linda M. Jensen October 15, 2012 at 10:48 PM
I remember going to the Avon Cider Mill to see them make the cider with excited anticipation, and then we would buy a gallon, straight from the press. Those days are long gone, and in the wake of pasteurization, it would seem the only difference between what you buy at Big Y or The Cider Mill is the label on the bottle and the cost. With increases in rent for retail outlets in the area it makes it harder and harder for any business to show a profit. All that being said, I agree 100% with Capri, but it will be a sad day when the Avon Cider Mill closes it's doors for the last time.
Gdubber December 06, 2012 at 03:56 PM
The Lattizori's didn;t own the land?
Jessie Sawyer (Editor) December 06, 2012 at 04:46 PM
CREC purchased the property for the new Reggio Magnet School of the Arts building from Dr. Roy Beebe.
Ronnie December 14, 2012 at 10:05 AM
I was at the Cider Mill the last weekend it was open. I was told that the cider and the fritter stand would be relocated to the Pickin Patch just up Nod road starting next year. Also, the yellow barn, which is also owned by Dr. Beebe, is being torn down as well. I just worry about what the school's presence will do to traffic, especially in the morning with school buses coming in and out. I work near a school and it can be a PITA.
Dm February 05, 2013 at 04:04 AM
Out with a piece of history and in with an arts and crafts magnet school. Add to that traffic congestion with parents dropping kids off, another traffic light, school buses tying up the interesection of Routes 10 & 44.
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