WXXI recently interviewed co-owner and CEO Brian Nicholson about the history of Red Jacket Orchards, our products, and what the future looks like for us. Read the full interview below and tune into WXXI today! Our thanks to WXXI for sharing this interview and taking the time to interview Brian.
For nearly 60 years, Red Jacket Orchards in Geneva, N. Y., has been producing apples and summer fruits. Co-owner/CEO Brian Nicholson describes how the business has grown and how in his family the apples really don’t fall far from the tree!
Q. Red Jacket Orchards is a family-owned operation. Who are the key players?
My father, Joe, literally brought the third generation- my brother, Mark, and me – into the business in 1972, when he moved back to the farm from metro NYC. Today, Dad runs the farm while Mark directs the fresh business sales, procurement, and industry relations. They leave all the other fun stuff to me as the CEO.
Q. Your products are carried far beyond the Finger Lakes Region.What is the distribution?
We’re really proud of the fact that when my grandparents purchased the farm in 1958, they sold out of a 20×20 roadside shed. Now you can find our unique fresh fruits and 100% juice products from Texas to Maine.
Q. How has production changed over the years with the growth of the company?
We used to grow on big old trees on 100 acres and make cider in a barn. I helped my grandfather fill jugs with a garden hose. Today we farm, under the strictest food safety guidelines, using high-tech plantings that utilize sustainable methods on over 500 acres. Our natural juices are made in a state-of-the-art production facility (LEED certified), using 100% green energy.
Q. What would you like everyone to know about Red Jacket Orchards?
We are looking forward to continuing to grow and to giving back. We are passionate about making great healthy products for our families and community. We love this region and take pride in employing the best local talent. They deserve all the credit. So thanks to the Red Jacket Staff!