SPEER, Ill. (WMBD) — “Today (Monday) I’m after the jelly. We got to take jelly back and the apple cider doughnuts,” said Tanners Orchard customer Jan McCleery.
She is on a mission to grab one of her favorite things from Tanners Orchard in Speer on the business’ opening day.
Even though she now lives in Florida, she still makes it a point to come to Tanners.
“We used to live in Illinois. In Kewanee, Illinois and we’d always come to Tanners when they’d open and all through the season, brought our kids here,” said McCleery. This season is a little different, it’s the orchard’s 75th year in business.
“My grandfather started it back in 1947, He bought this farm and then my parents and my aunt and uncle ran it, and now it’s me and my brother. It’s kind of fun to be a part of a family business that’s been around so long and now I have two of my kids come into the business.” said co-owner Jennifer Beaver.
Beaver said there have been many changes since the late 1940’s including adding a bakery and outdoor activities.
“The biggest change is how many apples we harvest. The first year they just had a few bushels,” said Beaver.
There are new ideas and plans for the future, but Beaver says she’s interested to see what lies ahead for the family’s younger members.
“I’m really hoping to see it, you know be my grandpa, be my dad who’s retired now, but here every day. Seeing my grandkids running it,” said Beaver.
Tanners is open seven days a week during September and October.