Frank’s Cider was established in 2012 by Tony Port and Naomie Clark-Port, who is the 5th generation of the Clark Family to farm at “Woodside”, Franklin. The ciders are named after Naomie’s Grandfather Frank, who farmed in Franklin all his life. They are 100% Tasmanian fruit, and the apples and pears are grown by the family. Cherries are sourced from the Huon Valley, and raspberries from the Derwent Valley. Frank’s multi award-winning ciders are medium sweet and sparkling. They are naturally fruity and have no added sugar or gluten. The range includes apple, pear, cherry/pear and raspberry pear blends. The apples and pears include heritage varieties, and many of the trees were planted by Frank, and still yield well. The ciders are produced at Vintners Tasmania in Cambridge, as the family do not have the capacity for their own factory.
Frank’s Cider House and Café in Franklin, is the cellar door of Frank’s Cider. It is located in the former St John’s Church Hall, which is now a cosy heritage space with wood fires and Huon Valley produce, featured on the menu. Tony and Naomie are very keen to support other local producers and use Huon Valley dairy products, locally raised meats, and Tassal salmon. They also grow as much produce as possible (including their own beef) and produce award-winning preserves to complement the dishes offered. There are also items such as local honey, woodcraft, soaps and small artwork for sale.
Frank’s Cider House and Café also has a museum room displaying vintage apple industry memorabilia, and many old photos of Franklin and the Clark Family, who were pioneer settlers in the 1830s.
Naomie has a keen interest in local history, and is continually upgrading the museum room.
She also operates tours of the heritage “Woodside Orchard”. These leave from Frank’s Cider House, and take visitors on a guided walk around the orchard, where they can pick fruit (in March or April). They will learn about the apple industry in the Huon Valley, and the history of the Apple Isle. As there is a great interest in farm animals, Tony and Naomie make sure there are always some cattle close by for hand feeding, and Oscar the Kelpie is always a great companion!
There are several companies who bring tour groups in the warmer months.
These sometimes include both Frank’s and the Wooden Boat Centre in their itinerary, or lunch, cider tasting and orchard tour with Naomie as the guide.
Tony and Naomie have recently purchased St John’s Church and Cemetery which are located on the hill just behind Frank’s Cider House and Café. They are in the process of restoring the colonial headstones and renovating the church. They have received grant funding for cemetery repairs, and to install an interpretive signage walk through the cemetery, as an added attraction for Franklin. Naomie is very excited with this project, as her great great great grandfather is buried in the cemetery, along with the 4 successive generations of the Clark family.