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Small Business Driver: Three Wise Birds

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There’s nothing better than a crisp, refreshing, Kiwi-made cider on a hot summer’s day – something that the brothers behind Hawke’s Bay cider company, Three Wise Birds, couldn’t agree with more.  

Jack and Charley Crasborn come from an orcharding family – the Crasborn name is synonymous with the apple industry and world-class produce in Hastings and the wider Hawke’s Bay area and has been for the last 40 years. Growing up in their family’s orchards in the fruit bowl of New Zealand, Jack and Charley have been picking, packing and selling apples from a young age, giving them a solid understanding of the ingredients used in Three Wise Birds’ cider.  

As a young cider company, Three Wise Birds’ primary income comes from their nationwide stockists, although in 2018 they opened an on-site Garden Bar in Hastings which has proved to be very successful. With their family orchard serving as the Garden Bar’s backdrop, they aim to showcase not only their Three Wise Birds cider, but other local brewers and wine makers from their community.  

Three Wise Birds’ cider comes in a wide range of varieties, with some batches made exclusively from Braeburn apples, some from Granny Smith apples, and some mixed with nectarine or pineapple juice.  

With 80% of their income directly affected by the first lockdown in March, the re-building process has been slow and steady for Three Wise Birds. While their Garden Bar was obviously closed, the business missed out on vital end of summer business, as cider is notoriously harder to sell in winter months. Three Wise Birds had also just hired a National Sales Manager pre-lockdown.

With a view on their employees as essential to business function and growth, Three Wise Birds have prioritised keeping their staff looked after over this challenging period of time. As winners of Toyota’s Small Business Driver initiative, the business has been able to give their National Sales Manager a vehicle to get him on the road and generate sales, taking a huge amount of financial pressure off their backs. The Mediaworks advertising package has also allowed Three Wise Birds to widen their marketing efforts over the last few months, helping them to achieve their desired growth post-pandemic.  

Follow Three Wise Birds on social media to see what they’re getting up to, visit their website for a list of stockists, and be sure to stop in to their Garden Bar next time you’re in the Hawkes Bay area!