Little Mary’s Sparkling Cider
MEET HARRISON MILLER
Tasmanian born Harrison Miller is chasing his dreams in the business world and drinking to his own success.
Harrison Miller is from the small rural town of Hillwood in Northern Tasmania. He grew up being the youngest of three children to nurse Helen and farmer Mark. Harrison attended Launceston Church Grammar School. He was gifted at sport and academically. In year 12, he decided he would focus on business studies. In the subject, the teacher set an assignment for him to create a business plan. Being from an orchard, where his family grows apples, pears and cherries, he decided to focus on the beginnings of a cider making business.
After creating the business plan, Harrison realised he had stumbled onto a brilliant idea. “I spoke to professionals within the industry and approached some individuals who I thought could help steer me in the right direction.” He ran the idea past his family but his plan, at first, was not accepted. It was pushed aside while Harrison travelled Europe for five months and then started a Business degree at La Trobe University. In the interim, the Miller family sold the orchard.
But Harrison wasn’t deterred – he took the business plan to the new owner of the orchard, Geoff Car. Within a few weeks, Geoff rang Harrison back to tell him he’d found someone in the local area willing to make the cider using the fruit from the farm.
With his dream up and running, Little Mary’s Cider was named after Harrison’s father Mark, who sadly passed away. “Little Mary’s is named in memory of my old man, as his nickname was ‘Mary’,” Harrison said. “When contemplating a name for the cider, I came across a photo of my dad sitting on top of an old apple bin when he was about two years old.”
The photograph Harrison found is now the logo on the cider bottles and Harrison’s good friend and graphic designer Alex Roome produced the finished product on the bottles. And Harrison’s girlfriend Ellie Moloney was also involved in the planning process.
The cider is now being distributed to two restaurants in Northern Tasmania, Mud Bar and Restaurant and Levee Food Co. Little Mary’s is also available at Launceston bar Kingsway. It is also on the shelves in bottle shop Crown Cellars. “Hopefully I will have the cider distributed all over Tasmania within nine months, hopefully it will be over to Victoria in around 18 months.” The cider sells for a $15 for 750ml or $170 for 12 bottles.
Little Mary’s sparkling apple cider is a boutique methode traditionelle blend created with apples sourced from G.C. Miller & Sons, the fourth-generation family orchard. Traditional champagne is also made this way. A two-step fermentation process, which involves crushing the apples to make a juice, adding a yeast and storing in a cool climate room, the process can take a few weeks to complete, however the end product is worth the wait.
Harrison’s mother Helen, who is based in Tasmania, has been helping with the stock lists and distribution while Harrison is in Victoria at university and playing football for a local Geelong club. “The business has probably moved a bit too quick for what I would have liked, that’s obviously a good problem to have, but it has been hard to keep up with the growth of the business whilst I have been studying full-time, as well as been doing an internship,” he said.
The business has been successful in its first few months of operation and a huge support has been set up by Harrison’s family and friends, as well as sharing the success over social media. Having the cider presented in a 750ml bottle, with a cork has differentiated Little Mary’s from a lot of other cider companies on the market.
With a business plan that started as a school project and has been growing successfully for the past five years, Harrison couldn’t be happier with his final product, Little Mary’s Cider.
Check them out:
INSTAGRAM – @littlemaryscider
EMAIL – email@example.com