Out of the Woodwork -- Oregon's
Woodshop News article, January 2007
Robert Correll took over Correll Cider Presses in 1975
when his father passed away. The Elmira, Ore.-business was
relatively new (his dad had built 22 presses before he
died). But a lot has happened in the last 31 years.
Correll has made more than 3,000 presses and has
maintained a backlog since 1992. He says he doesn't just
make apple presses, he makes memories.
"I work alone and I'm booked well into next year, and
I've never had a return," said Correll. "If you take care
of it, it will last longer than you will."
Forbes magazine did an article on Correll in 2005 and a
wire service story was picked up by dozens of newspapers
in October 2006.
"Last year I made 107 presses but I still had 100 on the
books," he said. "It's becoming more and more popular and
everyone wants one. I'm 75 and that's why I took on a
craftsman about a month ago and he is just catching on
beautifully. Since the article first came out in the
Register Guard [Eugene, Ore.] newspaper on Oct. 29, I've
gotten 40 press orders on top of what I already had."
Except for the stainless steel knives, the Correll cider
presses are all made of ash. The wood is strong,
straight-grained and has good bending properties; all
important ingredients for a cider press. Through the years
he has fine-tuned his building process.
"If I had to make one, it takes about 24 hours, but I
work them up into groups of 10 to 12 and that way it
reduces the hours per press because you don't have to make
as many machine changes. I make five sizes in two
different models. They're pretty much the same except when
using ash - the natural ash - there are color streaks in
it so no two presses are going to look identical. I have a
nameplate lasered in at a trophy store in town."
Most of his customers are homeowners, but he has also
sold presses to schools, Granges, neighborhood groups and
a local community college.
The question had to be asked: is 'Cider Bob'
"Oh no, that word doesn't even exist in my vocabulary,"
he said. "Why should I retire when I'm doing something I
love? This is the fire in my belly. This is what motivates
me and this is what gives my life purpose."
Contact: Correll Cider Presses, P.O. Box 400, Elmira,
Oregon 97437. Tel: 541-935-3500.
- Brian Caldwell, Woodshop News