In 2011, a group of friends became disheartened when they realised that too many apples were going to waste around the Derbyshire village of Ashover.
Wanting to do something about it, they thought about their love for cider, and from that, the Ashover Cider Company was born.
Committed to producing a traditional and natural cider, Ashover Cider is made from pure apple juice. All the apples are washed and processed – by hand – then pressed in two large basket pressers. The apples are left to ferment over the winter and spring to leave a truly unique and pure-tasting cider.
When the first few gallons were ready, family, friends and passers-by were eager to have their first taste of Derbyshire cider. And they certainly weren’t disappointed!
Bitten by the cider bug, the company founders committed to growing their operations. The first item on the plan was to acquire more apples. Through various methods of begging, borrowing and scrumping and, by the second batch, Ashover Cider Company were able to produce ten times more cider.
Now in their 6th year, they have invested in a bigger pressing machine, expanded their product line to include new flavours, including a very popular Elderflower Cider, and can now produce thousands of gallons of cider every year.
With an increased supply, the next step was to satisfy their growing demand and expand their market beyond the Derbyshire county border. To do this, Ashover Cider looked to acquire a vehicle to enable then to transport their precious cargo to pubs and beer festivals across the country.
Keen to move away from traditional methods such as outright purchase, Ashover Cider Company wanted to explore the business benefits of funding a company van through contract hire.
‘Like any new business, we are investing heavily in growth and expansion,” explains Mick Philbin, Ashover Cider Company Co-founder.
We knew, through contact hire, we could save ourselves the large upfront cost of purchasing a vehicle ourselves.
And again, like new businesses, our finances may not tell the full story. We were pleased when Sandicliffe Motor Contracts took the time to understand our story and our ambitions.
With our own van, we can keep control of all aspects of the customer experience, from hand-picking the apples to hand-delivering the final product, an ethos that is very important to Ashover Cider Company.’
Sandicliffe Motor Contracts were delighted to deliver the first Ashover Cider ‘apple cart’ in July 2017, which takes the form of a Ford Transit Connect.
Ian Middleton, founder of Sandicliffe Motor Contracts comments: ‘No matter what size a business is, or how far they are on their journey, we see the importance of every single vehicle we deliver.
After 35 years in the leasing business, it also helps to remind us just how important a vehicle fleet is to budding businesses out there. And Ashover Cider Company are a great example of a prospering local business.
With their new van, complete with their beautiful branding, we wish Mick and the team the very best as they progress and grow their enterprise.’
If you have recently started up a business, or are looking to expand your operations through vehicle acquisition, do get in touch.
Our independence is rare in the leasing sector, and allows us to take a positive approach to businesses in the early stages. We can sit down with you and help you understand what options are available. Contact us on: