Our family owned apple orchard, Bellevue Orchard, has been supplying fresh apples and pears to markets and grocers around the nation since 1953. The orchard was originally planted by William E. Lowe in the 1920s, before some time during the second world war it was purchased by a steel factory called Diecasters. Their workers would come to the orchard to take in fresh air, pick fruit and enjoy time away from the industrial, grubby surrounds of the factort. Those pickers’ huts from all those years ago can still be spotted hiding up the back of the orachrd 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 1953. Angelo’s sons, Robert and Joe, purchased the orchard in 1977 from their uncles and father, and expanded the orchard and planting newer fruit varieties. Joe’s daughter Bernadette began working on the orchard in 1994 to be later joined by Robert’s son Nicholas in 2009.
THEN ONE DAY...
It was Australia Day weekend, January 1998 when an almighty hail storm in the heart of summer hit the orchard.
It 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, it was decided to install an apple juicing plant and make juice from real fruit!
A call was made to South Australia with old friends in the ‘Joyce family’ who 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 handyman 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.
Summer Snow juice was born, named for the hailstorm that gave rise to its existence.
THEN SUMMER SNOW GREW, AND GREW AND GREW...
Family members started attending farmers markets and visiting green grocers. Spreading the word and letting people try real apple juice. A 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.