It’s fall!  And I decided to have a childhood favorite of hot apple cider.  My challenge: why can’t I get any?  Here’s a story of two very different apple orchards.

In this episode, I talk about:

  • A favorite childhood memory
  • Walking into a version of Walmart
  • Finding happiness in a donut


Good morning everyone. Welcome to the Path 1 Million. This is gonna be episode 155. I Wanted to tell you a little story, something that I experienced the other day. Very interesting little comparisons. So when I was a kid, one of the things that we would do in the fall is my parents and I would always make a trip to Apple orchards. And we would pick the Apple orchards that the family, they absolutely loved them. We would go there, we would have hot Apple cider, I could watch donuts being made in the background cause that was like a thing. You get hot Apple cider and you get a Apple cider donut. So you could watch the donuts being made in the background. For me it was like the coolest thing cause I didn’t have no idea how they made donuts. So to actually sit there and be able to watch it was really cool.

You had to stand in line. They had this like big hot bowl of hot Apple cider. And you would go up there and you would get your glass and a lady would pour it in there for you and give it to you. And if you want a cinnamon stick or something, they would put something in there, whatever you wanted. But it was like the whole experience of it, right? It was like something that every fall that my family would do and I loved it. And apples are one of my favorite fruits that are out there. So for me as a kid, this was something that I thoroughly, thoroughly enjoy. Now a few weeks ago I was back in Michigan and I remember going up there and my, my good buddy Pete said to me, he goes, yeah, you got to get some hot Apple cider while you’re there.

Of course I haven’t had hot Apple cider and probably 30 years. Right? And I’m thinking, man, what a treat that would be, cause it’s fall time, the leaves are turning colors. How great that would be to go to an Apple orchard and be able to have hot Apple cider and a doughnut cause I haven’t had that in forever. So I grabbed Sherry, we jumped into the car, we go over to the, there’s this Apple orchards and of course you got Yelp these days. So all these people is like over 500 people that said that this one Apple orchard outside of Saginaw was supposedly one of the best ones that were out there. So I was like, cool, let’s go. So we get there to the Apple orchard. It’s completely different from what I remember as being at a kid just pulling into the parking lot.

It was nicely paved. They had really nice parking spots and lines set up for you to park. They had the like the parking lot, like they had letters around so you can remember which letter you parked by when you came in there, which completely struck me as odd. But I’m like, okay, you know, maybe these guys are doing really well for themselves. Kudos. I totally get it. So we get out of the car, we’re walking towards the building. As we get up there, I’m not really sure where to go, but I see something that says General Store. So I’m thinking that’s it. Now when we walk in there, my first impression of the place was that this was like Walmart. All I could see everywhere was just nothing but these glass containers display cases of all these different – anything Apple that you could think of was out there, save for the Apple computer.

But there’s like Apple pie and Apple fritters and Apple this and Apple that dah-dah-dah as far as you could see walking in there. And I remember thinking to myself, wow, I just want some hot Apple cider and a donut. Completely like overwhelmed. So I turned to Sherry and I’m like, you know, have you been here before? And she goes, I don’t think I’ve been to this one before. I was like, okay. So we start walking around and I’m thinking maybe we’ll just stumble across something. And you know, we see some people that are sitting down there eating what looks like to be big meals versus just having hot cider and donuts. So we’re walking around, I don’t know where to go. I don’t know what to do. I don’t see any signs saying hot cider here. I don’t see anything.

So finally I asked this one gentleman, I said, I where can I get a glass of hot cider? Or do you even offer that? He says, “Oh yes, we do have it. It’s over there in that coffee warmer and you can get it over there and it’s hot and you just pour yourself a cup.” So I’m thinking, well, okay, pour myself a cup. No big deal. Self service, I totally get it. And I walk over there and number one, I was really surprised at how small this little coffee warmer was. Apparently the whole hot Apple cider thing has fallen out of fashion. Who knows? But there’s a gentleman that was saying in there and he was pulling out a glass and he was with his, I’m going assume girlfriend and he pulled himself a glass and he took a drink of it and he goes, “It’s cold.”

And I’m thinking, I saw man, how disappointing. You know the whole reason why we come here in the fall is because we want the hot Apple cider. That’s like the whole like experience that I had as a kid. And that’s what I wanted to have again. So I actually tried some myself and it wasn’t even warm. I don’t even know if they turned that warmer on. And to tell you the truth, the way the people were acting in the store, I don’t even know if they really cared or not. It just seemed like the entire experience walking in was just, you come in and you buy something, right? Just like Walmart. But the key difference with Walmart is that they actually have a Walmart greeter at the door that actually says hello before they start bombarding you with, here’s stuff that you can buy, give us your money, get out.

I turned the Sherry, I was like, “You know what? There’s another orchard right up the street. Let’s go.” So she said, okay. So we climbed into the car. We pull up there, we go to the next orchard. We pull into the parking lot there, but it’s not paved. There’s no nice, neat parking spots anywhere. It’s like all dirt. So it’s pretty much every man for himself. I parked the car, we go inside of the of the store area. And the first thing that happens is like the four or five people that are working there, they all turn their heads and they all say, “Oh, hello!” I’m completely shocked by this, but I’m happy. I’m like, Oh, Hey, what’s up? So I turn around and look, there’s a sign, there’s this nice metal container, says “Hot cider. Help yourself.” I’m like, this is great. I told the lady, I’m like, can I get a donut?

She goes, sure. And he hands me a donut. I’m like, wow, here we go. This is what I wanted in the first place. This is what I remembered as a kid. This is the experience that I had and that’s experience I wanted to have again. So I get a couple of glasses of hot cider, get a couple of donuts, Sherry and I sit down in the little eating area. We have this great conversation. We’re talking about childhood memories, things like that. Like, Oh, we used to do this and used to do that, dah, dah, dah, dah. It was wonderful time. And I remember we were on our way out and I said, you know what, maybe I’m going to get like a, maybe I’ll get like a six pack of donuts, right? I resigned myself to the fact that I’ll probably never see my six pack, but I said, Hey, let’s go ahead and get a six pack of doughnuts while we’re here.

And she was looking and they had these beautiful Apple pies that held this caramel on it and like, like white frosting on top, definitely not see my six pack. But she said, Hey, let’s go ahead and get this Apple pie. And I’m like, cool. Yeah. So we step up to the countertop. We paid for our stuff and walked out the door, got into the car. And I just remember stopping and thinking to myself that this store wasn’t nearly as pretty, was a nearly as nice they didn’t have all these amenities – paved roads and paved parking spots and everything else. Just because of the fact that we were able to experience what it was when we were kids actually motivated us to spend money and actually buy stuff that I tell you truth, I didn’t even think about buying. I normally don’t go out and buy a six pack of donuts or 12 pack of donuts or I don’t think about buying Apple pie or anything else like that.

But we were in the store and these things just look good. We were feeling really good and very positive. And so that’s what we did. Experience counts and how you treat people counts. And I think what that first place is going in there and just feeling like it was a Walmart, like the only thing they wanted to do was to sell us stuff. And don’t get me wrong, I’m a capitalist, I’m an entrepreneur. I totally get that people want to go out and they want to sell their wares . They want to do business with you. I totally get that. And I applaud their efforts, but it’s the experience. It’s the, it’s the entrepreneur who understands that it’s the experience and how people feel about your product or your service or your brand or whatever it is that always makes me open up my wallet and spend more money rather than just going in and buying a pack of gum or whatever that is.

But that always happens. And it was just one more example of this. And I left there and I was like, you know, Hey, let’s go out and enjoy the fall colors and the leaves turning, which I haven’t seen in 20 years. So anyways, it was a great it was a great day and I had an awesome time. And I was glad that I was able to be able to experience that again, and that I was able to share that with Sherry, so that was very nice. Anyways, just wanted to share with you that story today. I hope you guys are doing well on this Monday. I will be back again tomorrow with a another story and I will see you then have an awesome Monday.