March 06, 2016
When deciding where to spend the rest of your life with your partner, so many factors come into play--city or the country, big house or a bunch of land, occupational opportunities, etc. Paul and Cindy Freedman--a former park ranger and belly dancer respectively--faced this choice together and chose Athens County, Ohio. While not their native town, the couple made a home there, with Paul becoming a city planner and Cindy working in graphics packaging as she has for 20 years. So many diverse skills later and together Paul and Cindy have started a winery called Dutch Creek Winery, which specializes in honey wine and mead.
The Freedmans bought their farmland and began exploring hobbies in beekeeping, wine-making, and maintaining an orchard of apple, peach, and pear trees. According to Paul, “after much encouragement from friends and family and several years of testing, tasting, and trial runs, we starting selling our wines in November of 2015.” Paul, like many farmers with town jobs, loves the outdoors and is “happiest on the farm, completely immersed in [his] work.” Paul takes care of the artisan wine production and maintains his honey bees’ health and production, while Cindy designed the winery’s logo and bottle labels and also handles the social media marketing.
Having broken ground in their adopted community, the Freedmans aspire to grow their business further into a multifaceted operation. According to Paul, they hope to expand their production facilities, host events and wine tastings, and also hold classes and a wide range of educational opportunities. More specifically, the Freedmans want to impart their knowledge and talents to the people of their community, such as belly dancing, producing maple syrup in early spring, mushroom hunting, cheese-making, cooking, and baking sourdough breads and fermented foods. The Freedmans even have a long-term hope that part of the farm will be dedicated as a natural area for nature walks and other outdoor activities.
The Freedmans’ ultimate goal is to leave behind something worthy of Athens County, their adopted home. By Paul’s words, “Hopefully, our combination of business and philanthropy will work in partnership, one side supporting the other...We feel both a duty and an obligation to leave a legacy that will continue to help and educate long after we are gone.”
Paul and Cindy continue to address challenges and grow the skill base they plan to use to give back to their community, and also to grow their brand and professionally brewed honey wines, which they’ve cared for just as strongly as they’ve cared for their bees and the rest of their land and adopted home.