Bayne’s Apple Valley more than ready for fall crowds

Published: Sep. 22, 2023 at 8:19 AM EDT
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FREELAND, Mich. (WNEM) - For nearly 60 years, Bayne’s Apple Valley has been a major part of local families’ fall celebrations. The tradition of pressing cider, donuts, caramel apples and more continues with the Coughlin Family, who have owned Bayne’s for six years now.

We’ll always keep the Bayne’s name,” said Shawn Coughlin, owner. “We just added a little twist and put a Coughlin family tradition on it.”

Shawn seemingly is the apple blend master. When asked what good apples to use to make cider, he suggested sweetango apples. Bayne’s Apple Valley is the only sweetango apple supplier in the Great Lakes Bay Region, according to Shawn.

“We’ll be making 1,200 gallons a week,” Shawn said about the amount of cider they typically have to make.

Bayne’s Apple Valley also has dedicated caramel apple dippers. Dawn Mills has been dipping apples for years now and showed TV5′s Blake Keller and Sierra Searcy some techniques.

“On a Saturday, we’ll probably dip 1,000 caramel apples,” Mills said. “You want to have a steady hand, you want to be quick,” she suggested.

Their top caramel apple sellers are original caramel and nutty. If you’re looking more so for donuts, you won’t have to look too far.

“Our people call them cider donuts,” Jennifer Tessin said.

She works the kitchen and told TV5 their donut machine will run 12 to 14 hours a day on any given weekend. After donuts pop out, most are dipped into cinnamon sugar.

“This is my gig, this is my jam. I do it to get away from my parents,” Ben Coughlin joked.

In his Bayne’s Cider Project, he uses Bayne’s cider and works with a facility in Michigan to create his own hard ciders. Currently, he has eight flavors, all on tap at Bayne’s hard cidery.

“Right now, I have my pineapple tangerine mimosa on draft. I have my black lemon rhubarb that is probably my best seller,” he added.

He believes hard cider is getting more notoriety for being a gluten free product.

He also has beer and cocktails, like a Bloody Mary, on draft.

“I think people want experience. My wife and I, our son, we want to give people the total experience,” Shawn said. “We want them to leave here with a happy smile on their face, that they had a good time and their experience was something exactly what they were looking for. We’re well-rounded here.”

Bayne’s Apple Valley is located at 5395 Midland Road in Freeland. They are open Mondays through Saturdays starting at 9 a.m. and on Sundays starting at 10 a.m.

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