Vermont Business Magazine Paul and Gayle Brown, longtime owners of Cold Hollow Cider Mill in Waterbury Center, Vermont, recently completed the sale of their iconic business to former Stowe Cider General Manager Dan Snyder and a small investor group. Cold Hollow, well known for its cider donuts, specialty foods, and fresh cider pressed on an old-fashioned rack-and-cloth press, is a popular destination for both locals and tourists. The business is located on 16 acres in Waterbury on Route 100 between Ben & Jerry’s and the village of Stowe.
Former Owners Proud of What They Helped Create
The Browns bought the mill in 2000 and worked hard over two decades to create a healthy, Vermont-focused retail attraction that values customers, employees, and the environment. With a focus on “keeping it real” and fostering a non-corporate feel for the mill, the Browns built the operation into one of the largest tourist attractions in Vermont, growing its mail order business, launching a line of ten artisan hard ciders, and adding a tasting room.
Gayle Brown, Dan Snyder and Paul Brown. Courtesy photos.
Their direct business-to-customer approach did not rely on big distributors. “We loved building the business into something positive for everybody” Paul Brown explained. “Creating an authentic and ‘non-corporate’ Vermont experience was hard but gratifying work. It was also a lot of fun. At the end of the day, the mill belongs to Vermont…there is no one more equipped to own and operate the Cider Mill moving forward than Dan. We’re overjoyed at the thought of him as the new owner. He fits the values of the Mill perfectly.”
Local Buyer a Longtime Fan and Friend of Cold Hollow
New owner Dan Snyder has been living and working in the Stowe area for the past nine years, most notably as General Manager of Stowe Cider. During his time there, he established a friendship with the Browns. After hearing them casually joke about the idea of retirement more than once, he finally asked what they thought about him as their successor. The Browns ultimately decided there was no better person to continue the legacy they helped build.
Snyder shared, “I am already impressed by the dedication of the Cold Hollow staff. My priority will be to maintain the cider mill’s success and provide customers with the same experience they’ve come to know and love.” He’s also looking toward future growth opportunities, including the reintroduction of Cold Hollow's famous jugs of fresh cider back into the local market.
About Cold Hollow Cider Mill
Since 1976, Cold Hollow has provided the community, tourists, and lovers of all things Vermont with the highest quality cider, specialty foods, and on-premise hospitality. In recent years Cold Hollow has expanded its reach to the internet - shipping donuts, cider, hard cider, and specialty foods to friends and fans throughout the country.
Waterbury Vermont, October 28, 2022 - Cold Hollow Cider Mill