Founded in 2007, Eden Specialty Ciders, located in Newport, Vermont, is a licensed producer of ice cider and other apple-based wines and hard cider.
With a cidery at Newport’s Northeast Kingdom Tasting Center and an orchard in West Charleston, Eden makes ciders that are available in over 20 states around the country. They’ve earned space on wine lists at Michelin-starred restaurants such as New York’s Gramercy Tavern and Del Posto.
The mission of the company is to produce high quality, boutique (cider) wines from traditional and heirloom varieties of apples, the majority of which are produced in Vermont. Their primary product categories include ice ciders (the majority of their production and revenue), aperitif ciders and hard ciders.
Eden Specialty Ciders has grown 248% in a 5-year period and outgrew their winemaking capacity at their farm. In 2013 they moved their operations to the Newport Tasting Center in Newport, Vermont. The Flex Fund is providing permanent working capital to support operations to profitability, inventory purchases, and critical hires (marketing / sales and consumer outreach) as they continue to grow their business.
Since the Flex Fund’s original royalty investment in Eden in 2016, we’ve made additional investments in Eden to help them grow and weather the pandemic – including investment in their preferred equity round.
In April of 2023, Eden Specialty Ciders and Shelburne Vineyards (based in Shelburne, Vermont) merged to become ESV Holdings, Inc. Both companies have retained their distinct brands while operating under shared leadership, with Eden founder Eleanor Léger as CEO.
Founded in 1998 by Ken and Gail Albert, Shelburne Vineyards planted some of the first commercial wine grapes in Vermont and they are now a multi-vineyard operation headquartered on Route 7, along with Lincoln Peak Vineyard (in New Haven, VT) which they purchased in 2021.
When the Alberts began looking for a way to retire in 2022, Eden Ciders founder Eleanor Léger approached the Alberts about merging with Eden – seeing the synergies in the brand, distribution opportunities, and alignment in supporting Vermont’s working lands. Upon merger between Eden and Shelburne Vineyards, Eden paid off the Flex Fund’s loan in full. However, the Flex Fund remains a partner and equity investor supporting Eden’s commitment to small-scale family orchards and the use of holistic and regenerative orcharding practices. Léger currently serves as Board President of the American Cider Association.