The leaves are turning, school is back in session and The Dexter Cider Mill is open: it’s officially autumn in Dexter.
The mill, located at 3685 Central St., opened in 1886 and is the longest continuously operating mill in the state. The Kozinski family purchased the small operation in 1986 and is the third family to own the mill.
Nancy Steinhauer says her father, Richard, bought the property because it was reminiscent of his childhood in New England.
“My dad bought this in 1986 as a retirement project,” she said. “The appearance of the mill reminded him a little bit of New England.”
Steinhauer helps her father run the daily operations of the Dexter Cider Mill alongside her husband and three teenage sons. Although she has a teaching degree, she’s spent much of her career in sales. Now she’s set that aside to work full-time at the family business.
“I love it,” she said. “I know the business, so it was just an easy transition.”
See photos of the Dexter Cider Mill below:
Now entering their 29th season, Steinhauer says the mill has been privileged to be a part of so many Dexter lives.
“I’ve watched generations of kids grow up and return with their children,” she said.
The mill is a staple not only for many Dexter families and draws people in from across the state, Steinhauer said. The mill has sent their goods all around the world including far-flung places like Dubai and Hawaii.
“We bring a lot of people in that haven’t been here before,” she said. “People will stop in here and then head downtown for lunch or dinner.”
What helps set the Dexter Cider Mill apart and keep folks coming back year after year is the tride-and-true process used. The Kozinski-Steinhauer clan uses 100-year-old equipment and traditional oak rack presses to make their cider. The apples are from a grower on the west side of Michigan and are all fresh, current-year fruit.
In addition to the obvious cider and apples, the mill also offers fresh-made baked goods, the always popular doughnuts and a wide variety of jams, jellies, sauces, honeys and more.
In the end, the support from the community keeps the Dexter Cider Mill in season year after year.
“I think the community welcomes us here,” Steinhauer said. “We’ve had a wonderful relationship with Dexter since we got here. I think the people in the community like us being here as well.”
The Dexter Cider Mill is open Wednesday through Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.