we appreciate your attendance at our orchard celebration!
September 7, 2015 - Wow, we are blessed with a supportive community and customers. We held a major 100th Anniversary celebration event on September 2 & 3, 2015. Guests included dozens of members of the widespread A.L. Kauffman family; hundreds of loyal local shoppers; and hundreds of tourists, from places as far away as South Africa and Australia.
All told, we welcomed about 1200 people each day, and that makes us feel blessed (and tired!). The event is history now, but you can read all about it below. We'll be posting videos from the celebration soon too.
Kauffman’s Fruit Farm & Market – 3097 Old Philadelphia Pike, Bird in Hand, PA 17505
Event type: Casual, Open House
Event location: In our orchards, close by our market
What will we eat?
- Orchard samplers like fresh apples, apple schnitz, cider donuts and apple cider
- Mouth-watering food for purchase, such as apple sausage grillers and peach smoothies.
What will we do?
- Apple Pie Contest - Pie submission deadline 6:30 pm Wed., Sept. 2 - winners announced an hour later.
- Walk through the peach and apple orchards and stop by the fruit butter cooking plant to see first-hand how everything works.
- Watch apple picking demos on the walking tour, and find your favorite apple in the orchards on the self-guided driving tour.
- Tour company and local history exhibits.
- Check out the cooking & baking center for ideas on how to use apples and other fruits.
- Children’s Activities! Families and school groups are welcome. Puppet show, apple stamping, bow 'n arrow apple shoot, apple crafts.
- View our 100th Anniversary history book, on display and available for purchase. This book is titled Faith, Family, & Fruit – The Core Of Our Business, and is 144 pages, hardbound.
In the Beginning
It takes visionaries to work among fields and trees, and patience to wait for a yield that depends on so many things completely beyond our control. When the founders of Kauffman’s Fruit Farm, A.L. and Sue Kauffman, planted their first apple trees in 1911, they had a vision that would carry us all the way to 2015 and beyond.
From the beginning, A.L. Kauffman was guided by three business rules:
- Be fair - A full measure, heaped and overflowing.
- Be kind - Build a business on the strength of having good neighbors, and being good neighbors.
- Be Visionary - Establish a business that could provide work for family, and those that lived around the Kauffman’s.
With this in mind,
A.L. built a packinghouse in 1937 that had more space under one roof than most other buildings in the area, and the orchard grew to have 55 acres of apples, 30-35 acres of peaches, 3 acres of pears and 4 acres of plums and cherries.
In 1954, A.L. and Susie incorporated the business in partnership with their five sons. The business became officially known as A. L. Kauffman & Sons, another vision fulfilled.
Farming is always a combination of weather, growing conditions, soil, and a farmer’s skill. In 1974, growing conditions were on the farmer’s side, with perfect pollinating weather producing a re-cord crop of apples totaling 59,000
bushels from 55 acres of trees.
Strong family traditions and good times together have dominated Kauffman’s history, such as the orchard crew tradition of having a doggie (hot dog) roast using the brush from pruning.
Kauffman’s has participated in the Mid-Atlantic Fruit & Vegetable Convention and cider tasting competition for decades, and Kauffman’s cider won 1st place three times – 2007, 2010, and 2014.
After 100 years, Kauffman’s is blessed to have family members from the 3rd, 4th, and 5th generations working in the business. Picking apples together in the orchard, making cider, assisting in the retail store, and managing the sales departments have all been strong Kauffman family traditions for the past century of business, and we intend to continue
this into the future.
Photos from the Past
Kauffman’s story includes the past, present, and future. When Amos Kauffman started the company, he wanted to provide work for
his sons, and that has multiplied over the decades to dozens of families being provided for from the farm, orchard, and store. The flip side of the coin is the blessing of relationship with the community: good neighbors shopping in the market and working there, and even our neighbors helping to bring in the crops.
From those days of horse-drawn wagons to modern reefer trucks with huge loads, hand-writ-ten and designed signs to selling fruit and goods all over the U.S via our website, and paper sales records to modern computer servers, our perspective toward sales and customers has changed very little, and we work hard to maintain that vision. We used to take our product to market stands and now our customers come to us, but all this while, we’ve been growing the same quality fruits and selling goodies for neighborhood everyday life and galas.
We love to look back on the old-fashioned days and ways of doing things, but we also plan to keep going, learning and growing as we combine the bits of the past with the vision for tomorrow. The only way to get somewhere is to make plans and start working on them step-by-step, and we want to share our excitement over the things we’re hoping to learn and implement soon.
- Develop farming practices to increase nutritional values in the fruit, reduce pesticides, and install in-tegrated multi-species plantings that function as an ecosystem in which the trees can thrive.
- Implement automated tracking of pickers and harvested fruit to improve the traceability of our fruit while increasing food safety.
- Meet the growing wave of health-conscious consumers by offering nutritious alternatives to big box store foods and super-processed items.
- Move some of our fruit processing away from touristy section of Rt. 340 and closer to the orchards.
- Emphasize honesty and integrity, always giving customers a full and overflowing measure of fruit.
- Participate with Penn State University and other Pennsylvania orchards to develop and test new kinds of fruit while looking for the “perfect” apple.
- Foster gratitude among our staff and customers for the blessings of harvesting and con-suming healthy food from God’s good earth.
Orchard Products - Fruit, Cider, Butters, & Snitz
When Kauffman’s was founded, healthy and nutritious food wasn’t as much of a priority as it is now, but with cultural factors and changes like world wars, women working, and the entry of TV, an explosion happened. Suddenly, frozen dinners, McDonald’s, and Little Debbie’s became immensely popular along
with expanding waistlines, and it took everyone a while to fully realize what was going on.
Finally, people began to tune into health, and here at Kauffman’s, we made the choice to not only continue growing food responsibly and sustainably, but also healthfully, and this is a special priority in the foods we process right here at our farm and market.
View Orchard Foods
Our 100th anniversary celebration in September will be a celebration of a successful journey that, while it has reached a significant milestone, has a foundation to carry it well into the future. This century has been full of God’s blessings to us, blessings which have been delivered to us in many ways:
- Amos & Susan Kauffman, our company’s founders, who started the vision of raising tree fruits and taught the virtues of hard work, honesty, and innovation
- Succeeding generations of Kauffmans, who intentionally instilled in each gen-eration the Biblical values and ethics that Amos lived so well
- Employees, who collectively kept our business operational through the decades
- Loyal customers – neighbors and community –who purchased our fruits and goods
- Vendors and wholesalers who have worked with us to exponentially increase our sales volume
- Numerous agricultural consultants and Penn State University research and extension personnel, who contributed to the quality of our fruit.
Ultimately, we work to honor our Maker and serve all our friends and customers, and to provide a source you can trust for nutritious foods. As we consider where we started and where we are as a business today, we conclude that our 100th anniversary is a celebration not only of the company, but of our customers.
Meet the Kauffman family