Jill McPherson, Island Folk Cider House
Jill McPherson had a dream, and four years of hard work combined with solid community support have turned her dream into a reality. Jill is the proud owner of Island Folk Cider House in Sydney - the first cidery on Cape Breton Island.
“I’ve been so busy I still haven’t quite processed everything yet,” said Jill. “But every so often I have flashes of ‘Wow, we did it. We created a cidery!’”
Jill worked in international development before returning to Cape Breton a few years back. Support and advocacy for local agriculture and food producers was always a passion of hers. She supported the Cape Breton Food Hub as a consumer, but wanted to contribute to the local food economy in a more direct sense.
“I really love cider and noticed there were no producers in Cape Breton,” said Jill. “So I thought why not start a cidery that sources from local farms and small businesses.”
Island Folk’s production facility and tasting room are located on Nepean Street in Sydney’s historic North End. Their apples are sourced from Nova Scotia orchards, and their blueberries, honey and rhubarb come from Margaree. Sales have been growing steadily both on-site and in NSLC stores despite starting up during a global pandemic.
Island Folk started selling their first batches of cider in June of 2020, and the tasting room opened on December 23, 2020 to rave reviews. The tasting room has become a place where the local community gathers, and their Wednesday trivia nights are usually sold out in advance.
“The feedback has been so positive,” said Jill. “And not just for the product, but also the space and our staff. I’m super-excited and grateful every day for all the people who helped me bring my dream to fruition.”
Island Folk ciders can be purchased directly at their cidery in Sydney, and at NSLC stores throughout the province.
Rebel Rose ~ Good Company ~ Easy Beezy
52 Nepean Street, Sydney, NS B1P 1B5