January 20, 2022

Cider mill heats up

Hollenbeck’s in Virgil opens for summer

Photos by Joe McIntyre/staff photographer

Sam Kelly, of Cortland, looks at locally produced Gridley Hollow Honey Co. honey Saturday at Hollenbeck’s Cider Mill in Virgil.

VIRGIL — People may be used to getting doughnuts, pies and other goodies from Hollenbeck’s Cider Mill in Virgil during the fall. Well, now they’re in luck because the business is now open for the summer as well.

Owner Matt Hollenbeck said the idea to remain open came about during the fall. “I’d been working lots of odd jobs in summers previous,” he said.

Hollenbeck thought it’d be nice to do things at the mill all year long. There’s not a lot of food options for Virgil residents, he said.

Matt Hollenbeck takes pretzels from the ovens at Hollenbeck’s Cider Mill in Virgil on Saturday. The business recently began summer hours and hosting the Virgil Farmers Market.

For a couple of weeks now, since the middle of June, Hollenbeck’s has been open for business. On Saturdays the business works in conjunction with the Virgil Farmers Market. “I had baked for the farmers market last year and was limited on things to do,” Hollenbeck said.

Between the preparation time for the food, hauling everything 250 yards down the street to the market and setting up, it was a hassle. Talks began about moving the farmers market to Hollenbeck’s. It made things easier and created more traffic for the business, Hollenbeck said.

For now the mill is not frying doughnuts. And apple and pumpkins pies are out of season, Hollenbeck said. However, other food choices are available at the business.

Assorted pies are available Friday through Sunday. As is bread. Pretzels are made from scratch and sold Saturday and Sunday, Hollenbeck said. Pizza is also made from scratch and ready to order Friday and Saturday nights.

“It’s an interesting experience,” Hollenbeck said.

The business is open Friday noon to 8 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sunday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Hollenbeck said.

While this summer is a test, Hollenbeck hopes to have the business remain open for future summers. He does ask that people call and order food so he doesn’t have to try to predict what to make. “We’re only open three days, it’s hard to hit the amount of stuff people want to buy without going over,” he said. “Ordering is great. It gives me an idea of things people want here. It’s easier to predict the future.”