Fly Creek, NY - The Fly Creek Cider Mill is excited to announce its opening on May 12th, its 167th season. Located just three miles from the Village of Cooperstown and 22 miles south of Herkimer, the Mill is a must-see destination for both locals and visitors alike. This year's opening is particularly special as it marks the 150th anniversary of the Michaels family running a small business in Otsego County.
The Michaels family business began when Nehemiah Michaels briefly opened a meat market in Middlefield in the General Store building, now located at The Farmers' Museum. Then in 1873 he moved to the basement of the building that is now home to Mel's Restaurant on Main Street in Cooperstown.
William H. Michaels, the second generation, continued the family tradition by purchasing the old wooden Sheriff's office near the courthouse and moving it to the vacant parcel of land where the Heroes of Baseball Wax Museum is now located. He named it the Washington Meat Market and rented space in the rear to the Fulton Fish Market. In 1886, he purchased the vacant adjacent lot and built a large, modern space he called Michaels Market. Known for the best meat, fruit, and vegetables in the Village, the business prospered through 1976 with the next two generations of H. Nehemiah and his son H. Potter.
The Michaels family business legacy continued with H. Charles, the fifth generation, and his wife Barbara, who purchased the Fly Creek Cider Mill. Now the business is in the hands of H. William (Bill) Michaels, the sixth generation, who continues to uphold the family tradition of providing quality products and a superior customer experience, where visitors are encouraged to taste, tour, and explore the historic, water-powered Mill.
Today's Mill offers a wide range of products, including apple cider, homemade fudge, specialty foods, wines, and foodservice. One stand-out product that has spanned all six generations is the Mill-Aged, Extra-Sharp, New York State Cheddar Cheese. Traditionally called "store cheese," New York's cheddar was a staple for many general stores and food markets, being cut from a wheel on the counter. Today, the Fly Creek Cider Mill ages their cheddar for five years, achieving a rich, creamy yet sharp flavor profile. Bill Michaels says, "I remember entering Grandpa's Main Street Market and helping myself to a slice of his delicious cheddar while my mom purchased some for her macaroni and cheese. I am proud to honor this family tradition here at the Mill. We sell over three tons a year and almost 5,000 servings of mac & cheese using my mom's recipe."
While the heart of the Mill is the historic cider-making machinery, the family recently added a Millpond pavilion and renovated the tasting room, further enhancing the property's experience. "We are proud to celebrate the Michaels family's 150 years of business in Otsego County and the Fly Creek Cider Mill's 167th season," says Bill. "We are grateful for the support of our loyal customers and employees and look forward to our family serving our community for many years to come."
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