Erwin Orchards owners send message to customers as Blake’s takes over

Erwin Orchards and Cider Mill announced that the operation had harvested its last harvest, according to a July 14 post on its website.

Owners Bill and Linda Erwin and the Emery family, partners in the business for 40 years, are retiring, the post read.

“Speaking for my husband, Bill Erwin and myself…the reality is bittersweet,” Linda Erwin wrote in the post.

The Erwins were the fourth generation to run the South Lyon farm and orchard which has been in operation for more than 102 years, the post said.

Developer Lombardo Homes is buying the entire orchard property from the Erwins, according to Greg Windingland, special projects manager for Lombardo Companies.

Windingland has confirmed that Lombardo Homes has entered into a purchase agreement with Blake’s Orchard and Cider Mill. for the Orchard Crossing orchard related property.

“The Erwins and the Emerys are happy that a lot of their land is still under cultivation,” Linda Erwin told the Free Press by phone Thursday.

In addition to the orchard and cider house, the family homes are also included in the development plan for Orchard Crossing brought to the township in April 2021, according to Hometown Life.

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“There are 121 single family homes on the south side of Silver Lake Road and on the west end of the property,” Windingland said. “There (will) be 40 duplex units in the northwest corner of Kent Lake and Silver Lake Road: everything else is part of the orchard operation.”

The orchard will become Blake’s Orchard and Cider Mill of South Lyon, confirmed Andrew Blake, chairman of the Armada-based family business.

“Hopefully from an experience standpoint not much will change,” Blake said. “But we’re hoping to infuse some new additions this year by having beer and cider tents and live music. We’ll serve products we make at Armada and bring additional food offerings we make at Armada.”

One of the new owner’s top priorities is getting to know the community and growing apples, Blake said.

“Our job is to be a good steward and take care of this year’s apple harvest, serve our customers and get to know the community,” he said.

Blake’s Orchard and Cider Mill South Lyon is planning an August 19 opening that will include a pop-up tasting room with outdoor seating. Blake said the South Lyon orchard consists of more than 140 acres of apples. Blake’s operates three locations and a hard cider factory in the Armada area.

Contact Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press food editor, and send food and restaurant news to: [email protected] Follow @SusanMariecooks on Twitter.

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