Our family owned apple orchard has been supplying fresh apples and pears to markets and grocers around the nation since 1952.
Originally the orchard was planted by William E Lowe in the 1920s. Then sometime during the second world war it was purchased by a steel factory called Diecasters.
The steel factory used to send their workers to the orchard to take in some fresh air and enjoy time away from the industrial, grubby surrounds of the factory to pick fruit. The pickers’ huts from all those years ago can still be spotted hiding up the back of the property and could definitely tell a yarn or two.
Bellevue Orchard was first bought into the family by Angelo Russo and his brothers after they purchased the property in the early 50's.
In 1977 Angelo’s sons, Robert and Joe purchased the orchard from their uncles and father, they expanded the orchard and planted some newer fruit varieties. In 1994, Joe’s daughter Bernadette began working on the orchard and later Robert’s son Nicholas joined the team.
Then one day…
It was Australia Day weekend, January 1998 when an almighty hail storm in the heart of summer hit the orchard and changed the course of the business forever.
The torrential hailstorm ripped through the orchard and devastated our crop only days before it was to be harvested. Large hail stones blanketed the orchard like snow. In an effort to come to terms with nature’s twist of fate and inspired by the storm, we decided to install an apple juicing plant and make juice from real fruit!
Old friends in the ‘Joyce family’ helped us get back on our feet by selling us the machinery needed to produce our first batch of apple juice. Robert, a mechanic by trade, put his handy-man skills to work and fully restored the machinery which had been pre-loved and delivered in parts. Several months, late nights at the orchard and a little imagination later we converted the storm-kissed fruit into first class Australian apple juice and the brand Summer Snow was born.
Then Summer Snow grew, and grew, and grew…
Family members started attending farmers markets and green grocers, letting people try real apple juice - very different from the juice made concentrates.
Bellevue Orchard, regained its strength and continues to produce much of the fruit for our Summer Snow juices. We supply Summer Snow apple juice to green grocers, independent supermarkets and even make apple juice especially for a select group of companies around the country.