The Cider Barrel Revival

September 28, 2017
Alex Tsironis
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In early August we shared a link to Brandi Edinger’s Kickstarter page for her plan to bring The Cider Barrel back to life!

The link can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/MoCoShow/posts/1213589988744958.

A couple weeks later I interviewed Brandi using questions based on YOUR comments on our original post. With just 10 days left to raise over $75k, it doesn’t look like the Kickstarter campaign will be successful (it’s an all or nothing campaign, which means if the full amount isn’t raised, everyone that donated will be refunded their money), but even it the goal isn’t reached it doesn’t mean that the dream to bring The Cider Barrel back to life ends here.

Here’s What Brandi had to say:

What are some of the pastries that you plan to sell (Apple cider donuts)?
I plan on offering things such as fresh cinnamon rolls and sticky buns and other “breakfast pastries” such as seasonal muffins, danishes and crumb cake. I will also offer things like triple choc. mousse torte, assorted flavor filled eclairs and colorful macarons-just to name a few. In addition to that I also plan on offering some gluten free and vegan items since there is a deman for that right now. (I have alot of experience with vegan because I was the Pastry Chef at Equinox Restaurant in DC for a few years and they have a strong vegan following). I even want to have a little selection of dog treats 🙂 I really want my menu to represent the seasons well and I can certainly do so since we are so close to many great farms.

One of our readers asked for a collaboration with the old Montgomery Donuts. Any interest in doing that down the road if this happens?
I would certainly love to talk more about this. I want this to be about creating relationships in the community and what better way than collaborating with a local icon in the industry. That would be a win win in my opinion.

Do you plan to serve regular coffee, capuccinos, frappes, etc.?
Coffee is a must! I will offer specialty coffees but only a select few such as lattes, cappuccinos and macchiatos. Since I am hoping for a late fall opening it is a MUST that I have apple cider. I have been very fortunate to meet with Mr. Gene Bollinger, one of the original partners and cider maker of the Cider Barrel. He gave me a few good tips about how to go about selling cider and if anyone knows…it would be him 🙂. I will also offer hot chocolate made from real chocolate and fresh made marshmallows.

Do you think the goal will be reached? A limited amount of people can donate certain amounts, do you think that will hinder the campaign?
$85k is my goal. I would not be telling the truth if I said I did not have any worries. I am very VERY excited about all of this but I am also extremely nervous. $85k is a lot of money but without meeting my goal, this just won’t be possible. I met with a local contractor on Sunday who grew up in MoCo and has many great memories of the CB. His name is Paul Innocenti. Thanks to him, I can now save money and cut down from the original $185-$200k that the bigger companies have estimated this to be. He is currently meeting with a plumber, electrician and concrete company so we can find the most cost effective way to make this happen. The plumbing is where the majority of the money comes in. Once we get answers to a few questions we have, we may be able to cut the cost of the entire project in half (fingers crossed!). Mr. Innocenti will allow myself and anyone else that wants to volunteer, to be hands on to help save money.

What would the parking situation look like?
Many have questioned the parking as well as a few other things such as zoning. I started this journey last August, so it has been a year in the making. During that time I have been crossing every T and dotting my I’s to be sure I was doing this right. Scott Whipple of Montgomery County Parks and Planning has been a big help in all of this. Mr. Whipple confirmed that we are zoned correctly and that there is parking. There will be parking provided behind the CB in front of the Elm’s clubhouse. They will also have proper signs. Many people do not realize, but there is a path leading directly from the parking lot to the side door of barrel which also has a handicap ramp. It ties into the path running along 355.

What’s your response to those that say it’s best to leave it as it is?
For the those who are against this…I can honestly say that the support I have been receiving from the community is overwhelming!

There will always be one in every bunch and I completely expect that, but they are far and few in between. I seriously cannot thank everyone enough. I am very fortunate to have the support from all that I do. Susan Soderberg (President of the Historical Society), has been my guiding light in all of this. I run everything past her before I do anything. I look at this as the CB being her baby. Susan has fought for the barrel for years on many levels so it is extremely important to me that she be behind me on everything. Had she not approved of this, I would not have went any further.

I want everyone to understand that while I am working to open a bakery, this is Soooo much more than that. I want this to be about community. I am constantly building new relationships in effort to bring people together throughout this endeavor. I want to utilize local products as much as I can. Everything from fruits, vegetables and dairy from our local farms to possibly even coffee and donuts. I would love to talk more about Montgomery Donuts as well as reach out to a local roaster in Rockville

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