A crowd of invited guests gathered today at the former St Johns church hall for the official opening of Frank's Cider Bar and Cafe in Franklin. There were state members of parliament of all flavours and Huon Valley councilors elect, family, friends, business partners and other supporters. It was a lovely celebration of the hard work by owners Naomie Clark-Port and Tony Port in establishing the cider company and renovating the historic hall, as well as their winemaker partners behind the product and other business partners and supporters. I won't retell the history behind Frank's that Naomie spoke of - you can read about it here. Premier Will Hodgman spoke about the positioning of Tasmania as the food and beverage paradise that it is, with a visit by celebrity chefs and food critics from around the world next week and the visit of Chinese president Xi Jinping later this month. He unveiled a carved wooden plaque to commemorate the opening. Once again I felt so lucky to be a part of this place. One of my friends said "this is just like one of those community celebrations on Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage show" and she was right - that's just how it felt.
The Frank's Cider cellar door and cafe is another welcome piece in the Franklin waterfront precinct revitalisation. It also means there are now three cider cellar doors open in the Huon Valley, adding a nice loop to the Tasmanian Cider Trail. All using our great locally grown apples, pears and cherries. We are planning to have a Friday after-work drinks evening there soon!