We talked to: Artifact Cider Project
We recently spoke to Jake Mazar, owner of Artifact Cider Project in Florence, MA. We love his passion for Western Mass and for the cider Artifact produces. His commitment to bringing a high quality, delicious product to the community is truly inspiring.
How long has the business been open and what made you choose to open a business in Florence?
Artifact has been open since 2014. We opened this facility this past summer, after a year of renovations to the building to ensure it was ready for both cider production as well as for people to sit and enjoy cider and snacks. This space just felt right, as it was large enough to accommodate both our production cellar and and our taproom. We love that we’re right on the bike path, there’s free parking, and people will be able to sit outside on the patio in the spring and summer. We truly appreciate that we are close to both our agricultural partners and to an amazing, rich cultural environment.
What do you love/appreciate most about the business community in Florence?
It’s a warm and welcoming community, made up of many small, unique businesses that are thriving. There is a cool energy, with creative, entrepreneurial people who truly care about the community and about each other. There is a real collaborative vibe here--people look out for each other and come together to offer support and encouragement. When business owners have a strong, supportive network, it really creates a stronger, more compassionate community overall.
What do you love/appreciate most about Florence/Northampton in general?
There is a cool combination of being close to nature, while also being close to great cultural offerings, including the universities, restaurants, and shops. I truly feel lucky living here. The orchards around here have such an amazing legacy, and the terroir is incredible for growing the varieties of apples we want to use in our ciders. We work hard to highlight that at Artifact.
What positive things do you see happening in Florence/Northampton?
There are so many new, small businesses coming into Florence, including High Five/Art Always, Brew Practitioners, and the Pie Bar, among others. There are also a lot of families settling here, and plenty of business owners both live and work here. There is a new energy in the air, with new ideas and concepts, and a new generation of business owners and residents.
Are there any events you are particularly excited about, either in Florence/Northampton in general or at Artifact?
We’re really looking forward to collaborating with our friends Jesse and Aimee from Belly of the Best from December 12th to the 15th, when they will take over the menu here and offer a medley of delicious snacks and flatbreads. We will be experimenting with more collaborations as well as “local night” events, where we’ll offer special flatbreads--which we prep at my catering company, Wheelhouse--to accompany our ciders. Going into next spring and summer, we are also hoping to offer outdoor seating so folks can enjoy the warmer weather while sipping cider and catching up with friends.