The Country Mill Brings Tradition, Fall Fun to Mid-Michigan

CREATED Oct 19, 2012

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Fall months in Michigan and visits to the local cider mill go hand in hand for Michiganders.

In a year that saw many local businesses struggling with the limited apple crop, taking time to visit a favorite spot for cider and donuts felt all the more pressing - no pun intended. And when it comes to a tradition that happens for just a brief time each year, the potential rise in costs is worth it for most families.

At the beginning of October, we sought out nominations for mid-Michigan's Favorite Apple Cider Spot. After a couple weeks and over 1,600 votes, The Country Mill in Charlotte, Michigan won with 37% of the vote.

The Country Mill began as a u-pick only operation in 1871, and was purchased in 1971 by Bernie and Ann Tennes. The Tennes family continues to run the business today.

Steve Tennes, one of the owners of the family-run farm, showed us around The Country Mill and explained what sets them apart from others in the area.

Aside from the classic cider and donuts, The Country Mill offers additional products like hard cider, wines, baked goods, and more. The Mill regularly welcomes school groups of all ages to attend its Apple School Houses.

"It's rare that kids are able to learn where their food comes from and how it grows, so they can learn that right here," says Tennes.

Company picnics, birthday parties, and senior tours are also available at The Country Mill.

Looking for a rustic Michigan wedding? The apple orchard's outdoor setting and new Orchard Barn banquet hall that gives couples the rustic barn wedding that has become trendy in recent years - it is available from May to mid-November.

These programs and amenities have helped The Country Mill continue to thrive even in difficult years, such as this one. 

Tennes also attributes the mill's customer loyalty to its commitment to keeping prices reasonable, even in a struggling season for all local apple farmers.

As a thank you to fans of The Country Mill for voting in our poll, a Customer Appreciation Day will take place on October 28th. Those who are on the mill's email list or fans of their Facebook page will receive details of the celebration.


Find out more about The Country Mill in our video segment with Steve Tennes, and to get a taste of the mill, check out our Country Mill Photo Gallery here.