We started making crunchy dried apples in 2012 because our founder was sick and tired of watching his backyard apples go to waste. Every Fall, he would watch squirrels take one bite out of an apple and discard it. The sheer volume of food going to waste created incentive to do something about it.
Fast forward to 2014 and we wanted to expand that basic goal to include our community and do something good with the apples that we harvested. We were already supplying our apple chips to the school district and wondered if there was a way to get the kids involved in helping us harvest these backyard apples.
And Donate Colorado Apples was born. Each Fall, we invited local homeowners to sign up to have their backyard apples harvested. In 2014, we had a banner apple year in Colorado and over 40 home owners signed up for the program. We worked with the schools to invite kids to help us out with the harvest, along with girl scout troops and lots of local parents and friends. We harvested over 2500 pounds of local apples that year. The kids harvested the apples, brought them to our commercial kitchen and we turned them into crunchy apple chips that were donated to the schools.
After the Fall, the kids that participated in the harvest were invited back to our commercial kitchen to see how the apples are turned into crunchy apple chips and packaged. So the kids were able to participate in every phase of our business – from harvest to production to packaging to retail. It was a great way to give back to our community and inspire kids to think about their own entrepreneurial endeavors when they get older.