Gays Mills, Wisconsin
ABOUT THE COMPANY
Sunrise Orchards, Inc. was created in 1913. At that time, our orchard was one of the original 40-acre Kickapoo Development Company apple plantings. Ellery and Grace Teach, the first generation of apple growers in our family tradition of maintaining an orchard, moved to the Gays Mills area in 1934. After years of hard work, they were able to purchase Sunrise Orchard for sole ownership in 1956.
During 1956, our tradition brought the second generation of our family when Ellery and Grace’s son Maynard and his wife Janet, began their orchard careers. Orchard work is a “farm life” and involved a great deal of hard work at a time when the economy was recovering from a depression. These first two generations witnessed many changes in the industry with increased automation and changes in the apple market. By the late 1960’s, the orchard had grown to over 100 acres and produced more than 20 varieties of apples.
Our third generation came in 1978 when Maynard and Janet’s son Allen joined the family tradition of orchard life. In 1979, Grace Teach who was a major part of Sunrise Orchards passed away. Shortly after in 1984, Maynard and Janet’s daughter, Laurie and her husband Kevin Oppriecht joined the operation. That same year, Allen’s wife Lynne became a part of Sunrise Orchards. In 1992, the orchard suffered another great loss with the death of Ellery Teach.
48340 WI-171, Gays Mills, WI 54631, USA
Allen Teach is a man of the orchard, the seasons and the weather. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, Allen knew he would not spend his days in a lab.
“I just couldn’t desert the seasons,” says the owner of Sunrise Orchards, a 75-year-old apple orchard located in Gays Mills, the “Apple Capital of Wisconsin.” “Pruning trees in the winter, managing the crop in the spring and summer, and spending long hours among the trees in the fall allow you to get very connected to the weather, and to the land.”
It’s that connection that he hopes to share with his visitors, who are drawn each year from Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota to explore this scenic apple growing valley nestled among the steeply chiseled bluffs of the “driftless” area of southwestern Wisconsin.
What the glaciers spared centuries ago is Allen’s modern day lab: 225 acres of prime apple-growing farmland, where three-quarters is wholesaled, and the rest is sold at retail. With more than 30 varieties grown on and sold in the orchard’s retail shop, Sunrise offers plenty of free apple samples so customers can try different varieties and possibly discover new favorites.
“Whether it’s helping visitors find the perfect apple for baking a pie or for snacking out of hand, our staff is always excited to chat about apples.”