A new and empowering cider coalition has emerged to unite all women who work within the burgeoning industry. Formed by three colleagues, Gemma Fanelli Schmit of Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider, Jana Daisy-Ensign of Finnriver Farm & Cidery and Jennie Dorsey of Schilling Cider, the Pomme Boots Society has a mission to “bring together women who are craft cider professionals to grow opportunities for networking, mentoring, support and continued education.” The three ladies sat down with us earlier this week to discuss to talk their plans, ambitions and cider.
CIDERCRAFT: How did Pomme Boots Society begin? What were your first thoughts about creating the society and why did you want to establish it?
Pomme Boots Society: Pomme Boots Society began very organically— a coming together of the hearts and minds of three colleagues in the cider industry… Working for three Pacific Northwest cideries, we each bring different skills and interests to the emerging group. While our backgrounds and current roles vary, we discovered we share basic values and aspirations for our industry. Our first thoughts for building Pomme Boots actually emerged as our friendship grew. We began to see a valuable opportunity to enhance the personal and professional lives of women working in the cider industry through the creation of a dedicated society where women are encouraged and supported by their female peers.
CC: Where is PBS based?
PBS: Pomme Boots is currently begin formed in Portland, Oregon. There has been a lot of interest throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond and we envision helping the society grow to meet regional interest in the future. We believe a dedicated organization for women in the cider industry is needed and very beneficial to the growth of the cider industry throughout the world.
CC: As a resource for women in the cider industry, what are some of the goals you hope women get out of the meetings and society as a whole?
PBS: It is our goal to bring together women craft cider professionals to grow opportunities for networking, mentoring, support and continued education. The first social event and subsequent happy hour meetings are a way to connect and get the conversation started. We are excited to explore a wide array of topics for continued education. Draft tech workshops, orchard and cidery field trips, tastings and production trainings are some of the most immediate projects we look forward to organizing. We believe that by facilitating connections among many talented women we will be able to form a society with a well-rounded structure so it may be truly useful to women working in all aspects of the industry.
CC: How did the first meeting go on September 25th? What were some highlights?
PBS: Our first official Pomme Boots Social and Rare Cider Night at Reverend Nat’s Taproom in Portland was a huge success. We were extremely encouraged by not only the number of women who were interested, but how excited they were about the formation of the society. This event was just the beginning—we have heard from many women who were unable to attend yet want to be involved. We look forward to growing future participation and believe the success of this event is a great indication of how very ready the industry is for this new society. It was a first glimpse at what wonderful things that the women involved will accomplish.
CC: What are some of your future goals for PBS?
PBS: “Educate, inspire, achieve” is our mantra. Our goals are shaping with the needs of women in the industry. A shared thirst for knowledge will help grow and further refine our future goals. We will continually strive to help bring women in the cider industry to the opportunities that they will find will most fulfilling.
The Pomme Boots Society is currently seeking to connect with women working in cider. For the next six months, Happy Hour meet ups will be held from 5:00-7:00pm the fourth Tuesday of the month at varying locations around the Portland area. the next meet up is Tuesday, October 27 at Bushwhacker Cider Woodlawn (901 NE Oneonta St, Portland, OR). The November Happy Hour will be Tuesday, November 24 at Portland Cider Company (3638 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR).