This is article is part of a series that the Revelstoke Review is doing this market season. The Review will highlight the vendors that make the Farmers’ Market special.
Lindsay Wong and her two friends were sitting on her patio with some wine and knew they all wanted career changes. Than in 2021, Shuswap Cider Company was born.
Shuswap Cider Company started in the summer two years ago. Wong and the other two owners, Kailee and Gena, are the three-women team of owner-operators. With their products in markets, stores, and restaurants around the Okanagan, the cidery has had steady growth since its inception. In their stand at the Local Food Initiative’s (LFI) Farmers Market, Wong talked about the business and the market around her.
“We all wanted a career change. We all knew that. So, we were just saying ‘what can we do?’ ‘What can we do together?’ And I had said cidery like right off the bat,” said Wong.
Wong’s reasoning was simple and has remained a vital principle of their business—the Shuswap region is plentiful in ingredients for cider.
With orchards growing apples all up and down the valley, vineyards filled with grapes, and various herbs all around, the opportunity to use local resources became a mandate and an easy business decision for them.
Revelstoke resident Josh McLafferty, who owns Monashee Spirits, helped the Shuswap Cider Company when they first started by offering insight into the specifics of operating a business. McLafferty also connected the company with a designer that helped them create their cans.
Packaging is important to so many businesses, but Shuswap Cider Company took special interest in their four-pack tops, which are completely biodegradable.
Shuswap Cider Company is still relatively new to Revelstoke’s markets. Wong said they started at the winter market at the community centre, but that it helped the business immediately.
“The winter market was a great introduction for us to come into the area,” she said, adding that because of it, their product can be found in Revelstoke businesses like Mt. Begbie Brewing, The Regent, La Baguette, and more.
Wong said the markets also help the cidery get valuable feedback from customers that they wouldn’t get if they were only selling at other businesses. Markets can also become sources of inspiration. After seeing another vendor’s product, Wong got an idea for a cider.
“I was here last week, and I saw that they sell spruce tip tea, so I bought some and I was like, ‘hey, we should try spruce tip tea,’” she said.
Shuswap Cider Company is aiming to be at the LFI Farmers Market bi-weekly throughout the season, which Wong said she looks forward to.
“It’s beautiful. I mean, I love being outdoors,” she said.
Typically, she likes to head out for a hike after a morning at the market, but good business has gotten in the way of her plans. With orders, production, and a taproom and patio to look after, there’s no shortage of work to be done in the summertime.
To visit the cidery in-person for a taste, the company is in Salmon Arm at 100-2090 10 Ave SW.