After an extensive two-year rebuilding process, Cover’s Apple Ranch in Tuolumne will host its grand reopening Saturday.
Family spokesman Ben Cover says the new apple ranch offers many of the attractions of the past — animals and a barn tour, hayrides, gift shop, and a new large scale model steam train by Ken Keagy, which tours visitors around the ranch.
Cover recalled the two years of hard work and, at times, not really knowing if it would all come together. He also expressed appreciation for the community´s support in helping rebuild.
“We´re a family and we´re used to working together as a family,” Cover said. “But, this has been a real effort with not just family, but from a lot of folks in the community. We have a lot of people we need to thank for that.”
When people think Covers Apple Ranch they think pies. Head baker Martha Cover says production in their brand new 10,000-square-foot bakery is at full speed.
“We probably put together up to 100 pies a day,” she said, adding that total number can go up depending on demand. Pies that are made are quick frozen on site then baked fresh each day – a process that fills the new building with wonderful aromas.
“Most everybody walks in and they smell baking apples,” Martha Cover said. Visitors familiar with the ranch bakery can pick out the bread or the cinnamon rolls or sweet, spicy smells of other goodies browning in the oven.
“If you get real good, then you can tell us what we´re baking,” she said with a smile.
The popular family destination on Cherokee Road in Tuolumne was destroyed by fire just before harvest in September 2000.
A special tri-tip barbecue and Diestel turkey fry will be featured Saturday. The grand reopening celebration runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.