RITTMAN – When it comes to owning and operating a successful business for 90 years, the Bauman family of Bauman Orchard has realized there is one thing that keeps them going strong – teamwork.
“My brother usually takes care of the packing and the sales and I’m out in the orchard, but I will go help him on days he’s busy and he does the same for me,” Bill Bauman said. “My dad is retired, but he still comes in to help out too. Having great employees is also very important. We have a lot of employees who have been with us for a very long time.”
Bauman explained that his grandfather founded Bauman Orchard in Rittman in 1929. His father took over in the 1960s and then he and his brother took over in the early 1990s. Bauman’s three sons are already very invested in the business and will likely be the fourth generation to take over the reins.
“I just can’t see myself doing anything else,” Bauman said. “I just really enjoy it.”
Bauman’s Orchard boasts roughly 240 acres total and offers 20 different varieties of apples. They are also known for their peaches and sweet corn and offer a variety of summer fruits including strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. They also make their own apple cider.
“There are some of the vegetables and melons we have at the store that we don’t raise, but we always try to get the produce locally,” Bauman said.
The main orchard and retail store are located at 161 Rittman Ave. and that store is open year round. Bauman Orchards also has a seasonal retail store at 10370 Akron Road, as well as a retail store in Jeromesville.
“Those are open from June until about the first week in November,” said Bauman’s wife, Monica. “We carry the same produce at all of the locations, but we have some extra things at the main retail store, like pies and other baked goods. You would be surprised how many of our customers come from farther away like Akron or Cleveland. They like to come out to the country and see the apples on the trees. For some of them, it’s something they’ve never seen before.”
“Customers do seem to enjoy that,” Monica said. “They like to come in and learn that the apples in our store were picked just that morning.”
Starting each year in September through mid-October, customers even have the option of stopping by the Rittman Avenue store and picking their own apples off the trees.
As the business continues to grow, Bauman said the family works to provide offerings that customers are looking for.
“Over the years, there are new varieties of apples that customers become interested in,” he said. “Right now, Evercrisp are very popular. That is a combination of Fuji and Honeycrisp. We work to plant trees so we have those popular varieties available.”
The Rittman Avenue store is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and the Akron Road store is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.
For more information, log on to baumanorchards.com.