A new taste for local start-up

Olga Dressler has been working with her husband to start their own cider company.

A Temple web developer, along with her husband, are starting up their own line of craft beverages: hard cider.

Olga Dressler, an alumna and current web developer in the strategic marketing and communications department, plans to officially launch her company Dressler Cider in Spring 2016.

To make her cider, Dressler uses only natural flavorings and locally-sourced apples from Pennsylvania. Hoping to finalize a location this December, the couple has been producing the cider under home-brew regulations, and has even conducted organized tastings. They plan to initially produce on a small scale and then refine the cider based on consumer feedback.

In addition to the fact that Pennsylvania is the fourth largest apple-growing state in the country, according to usapple.org, Dressler finds several other reasons to use locally-sourced apples.

“My husband and I are both from right outside Philadelphia,” she said. “It was really important for us to build relationships from places we know and places we’ve known in our past. That gives us the ability to have connection to our raw materials really quickly.”

She also finds it important to be mindful of the impact their product has on the environment.

Currently, Dressler Cider has three flavors: Classic, Farmhouse and English. The flavors are tailored not only from the different types of yeast they use, but also from different kinds of apples.

“There’s a lot of different components to it, and it’s really cool to see,” Dressler said. “The process is fairly simple, but then you can change a lot of the variables and make something really complex at the same time.”

With her husband’s engineering background and her marketing perspective, the couple has been able to craft and develop the product successfully.

Dressler was a student in the graphic and interactive design department, and also worked as support to the senior web developer of the information technology department at the time. It was when she realized the crossover of design and development that she began working for the strategic marketing and communications department.

Because of her affiliation with Temple, the couple was able to attend the Blackstone LaunchPad entrepreneurship program and receive a scholarship that would give them business venture opportunities. They also attended the Forbes Under 30 Summit and have now been working with Blackstone LaunchPad for more than a year.

“Blackstone LaunchPad helped us figure out the first iteration of how we wanted to present ourselves as a company,” Dressler said. “With Blackstone LaunchPad, we’ve had a lot of networking opportunities and we’ve been able to get our questions answered.”

Dressler said she is eager to further apply her knowledge of the cider industry into her company, as well as evolve her ciders’ flavors.

“We would try some new products that we haven’t tried before, and expand the product line further in the future,” she said. “Slowly but surely, of course.”

Jenny Stein can be reached at jenny.stein@temple.edu.

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