By Allison Collins
SIDNEY – Saturday, July 1 Casey Vitte and Patti Wilcox, high school sweethearts turned professional cider manufacturers, welcomed community members of all ages into Awestruck Ciders, at 8 Winkler Rd., Sidney, to celebrate the business’s third birthday.
After beginning in 2014 in Walton, Wilcox and Vitte relocated to the larger Sidney space in January of 2016. Once a sparse industrial warehouse, the pair has reimagined the space as equal parts manufacturing site, taproom and eclectic hang out.
Strung with lights and balloons alongside jars of wildflowers and a large, charmingly repurposed blue school bus (complete with seating), the interior of the warehouse, like the company itself, has come a long way. Looking around at the hearty crowd Saturday, Vitte chuckled and said, “Yeah, we’ve made some improvements.” He added, “We’re doing a lot of upgrades.”
For the event, Vitte explained that he consolidated the bulk of the manufacturing and bottling equipment to one side of the space, the better to free up room for the corn hole tournament and barside mingling. Asked for an estimate of attendance midday, Vitte said, “I don’t know how to even gauge that.” He did, however, call the turnout “amazing.”