In 1992, a serious fire destroyed the house that had been built in 1980 along with the mill barn that was attached to it. After losing nearly everything to the fire, why didn’t Geoff just give up?
“I had an old cherry red pickup truck back then,” Geoff remembers. “One morning, I found a handwritten note left under the windshield wiper along with a few dollars and some change.” Reading the note made him more determined than ever to start again. “My friends and I drove over to buy some cider. When we heard about the fire, we felt so bad…please use the money to rebuild.”
During that challenging time, Geoff received many notes and unsolicited checks from customers and neighbors who had been enjoying his cider for years. He never cashed them; instead he keeps them as reminders of how important his cider mill is to the community.
With his wife Liz Bracken-Thompson, eventually a new cider barn was built on an ideal site separate from the house. In 2016, Thompson’s Cider Mill celebrated its 40th Anniversary with some of those same neighbors and friends who had his back after the fire.