Cidery relocating to Richmond stables property
Blue Bee Cider LLC plans to relocate and expand its operations at the former site of Richmond’s city stables.
The company expects to spend more than $1 million in renovating the stables property in the city’s Scott’s Addition area.
Blue Bee plans to create four additional jobs as it triples production of its hard cider to 100,000 bottles a year at its new location.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe approved a $50,000 grant from the Governor’s Agriculture and Forestry Industries Development (AFID) Fund to assist with the project, which the city of Richmond is matching with local funds.
Blue Bee has agreed to buy $257,000 worth of Virginia-grown apples and berries, totaling 850,000 pounds, during the next three years, about 98 percent of all its agricultural feedstock.
Begun in 2012 in Richmond’s Manchester area, Blue Bee Cider has produced cider using a variety of heirloom apples. The company plans to expand its existing orchard.
In a statement accompanying the announcement, Todd Haymore, Virginia’s secretary of agriculture and forestry, said sales of Virginia cider increased more than 200 percent from fiscal years 2014 to 2015 and national sales rose by more than 40 percent during the same period.