North Central Mass Origins: Bolton Orchards
- David Ginisi
- Posted on May 16, 2019
If you’re in the Bolton area, and are looking for some farm-grown and local delicacies — like fresh apple cider and apple cider doughnuts — be sure to put Bolton Orchards on your “must visit” list.
Backstory of the Company:
Starting out as a Sterling dairy farm in the 1800s, the property expanded in 1935 when Jonathan Davis purchased the 200-acre Bolton Fruit Company. Over the years, much of the peach orchard was replaced by other fruits (including, of course, apples!) and vegetables. By the mid-twentieth century, a farm stand was built at the intersection of routes 110 and 117 in Bolton. Today, there are 250 acres in active production — yielding 25 varieties of apples, 15 varieties of peaches, along with nectarines plums, corn, tomatoes, squash and pumpkins. At the popular Bolton Orchards farm store, visitors can purchase an assortment of fresh, locally grown products that Sarah O’Toole dubs “clean living” food. Sarah, her husband Joel, and her father own Bolton Orchards, and as a team, they carry out the store’s daily duties, assisting, organizing the displaying products.
Goals and Ambitions:
Farming in New England is, of course, a very seasonal business — but the farm store gives them the opportunity to enjoy and promote local products year-round. At the heart of this store, of course, are apples. Sarah takes pride in selling a large variety of apple products: cider, doughnuts, pies, dumplings and more! But the store’s offerings don’t end there. In the mood for lunch? Sit down and enjoy a fresh deli sandwich, calzone or bowl of home-made soup! And don’t forget the coffee cafe — serving coffee, tea, cappuccino, mocha, flavored lemonades… the list goes on!
When summer arrives, Bolton Orchards’ ice cream stand featuring 30 flavors of the chilly delight — a premium product made in nearby Attleboro — is open from noon to 6 pm, seven days a week. Not in the mood for a cone? How about a sundae, frappe, or fresh fruit smoothie? Yum!
Sarah is most proud of how she and the business as a whole have stayed loyal to their roots. Apples have always been, and continue to be, the backbone of the store. She is also happy with her availability – how she is able to be around customers in the store and assist them should they need it. She enjoys spending her time talking to both travelers and loyal customers who have enjoyed the fruits to the orchard for a long time.
As with all businesses, even farms and farm stands have to keep up with the times, and Sarah notes that changing technology — from credit card readers to website presence —have found their way even into this most down-to-earth company.
Being a part of Visit North Central:
One aspect that Sarah appreciates about being a part of Visit North Central is how well small businesses are integrated to work with one another. Local business from all over North Central Massachusetts, come together to help raise and foster a community to help each other. It’s something Sarah really appreciates, because her business feels like a home, and she wants others to get the same kind of experience.
This business is more than just work for Sarah: it’s a family — six generations deep, with over 100 years of experience under their belts. Sarah has been dedicated to this business, and that passion isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. It’s something she wants to share with as many people as she can.
If you’re curious about Bolton Orchards and want to check it out for yourself, be sure to stop by 125 Still Hill Rd, (Route 117), Bolton. You can also look up the farm store online at https://www.boltonorchards.co/, where you can see their entire menu for special lunches rotating daily — and even check out the harvest schedule for your favorite apple varieties.