A well-loved tradition for nearly nine decades, the Clinton Cider Mill is a destination for both Hamiltonians and townspeople. Since 2009, Libby Schultz ’12 has worked at the mill, baking donuts, cookies, pies and muffins, working the cash register, washing dishes, labeling jugs and filling baskets of apples. It is work Schultz savors, and she thinks there are several reasons that customers return autumn after autumn. “It’s mainly the smell, the combination of apples being pressed and fresh donuts,” she says.
Owners Mimi and John Fehlner have also cooked up a welcoming business approach. “Someone will come in whose cousin has passed away, and Mimi will offer donuts for the wake,” says Schultz, one of three Hamilton students working at the mill this fall. “She is exceptionally generous, loving and caring.”
The Fehlners value their relationship with Hamilton, and students say a hot cup of cider or a warm donut offers them a tasty remedy for a stressful day. “The Cider Mill reminds people of home,” says Schultz, recalling a recent customer who lives 330 miles from town. “Everyone knows each other and is concerned about each other. I appreciate this opportunity to get off campus and get close to a family that’s a part of Clinton, and see it from a different perspective.”
Like a goodwill ambassador, Schultz brings Hamilton down the Hill and a bit of Clinton back to campus for her ravenous suitemates. She is also proud of the mill’s Facebook page. “The Cider Mill embodies Central New York,” says Schultz. “When I think of fall, I think of the Cider Mill.”