Changing gears a piece of cake at Mackey’s Orchard

AFP Correspondent

WHITE TOWNSHIP (April 1, 2016) — Customers of Mackey’s Orchard know to expect changes.
The farm stand has been rearranged to provide more refrigeration, greenhouses were added to accommodate flowers in 2004; the ice cream stand was added in 2011. Now, a bakery joins the businesses operated out of the White Township farm.
Holly Mackey said she always wanted to open an ice cream stand.
She wasn’t the brains behind the bakery, however.
Arles Varela, an, 83-year-old baker also from White Township, approached Holly and her husband, Devlen, about opening a bakery.
They agreed and did some renovation while the stand was closed for the winter. The bakery opened on March 5 and will remain open through December.
“It’s been steady since 9:30, Holly said shortly after noon on the Saturday before Easter.
“Any pastry sold as an individual portion is a good seller. And cookies are flying out the door. We’re rockin’ and rollin’,” she said with a laugh.
Mackey noted they have always sold baked goods, especially pies made from their fruit.
The seasonal bakery opened in 1980, before Devlen graduated from Belvidere High School.
The addition of other pies, cakes and pastries has been a big change.
The ice cream stand has been used for storage and a staging area for the new bakery.
However, as the season approaches, Makey had employees clearing it out for an early April opening.
Devlin is the eighth generation Mackey to run the farm on South Bridgeville Road.
He bought it in 1998 from his father, Robert Mackey Jr. The older Mackey still works on the farm.
Holly denies her love of cupcakes was the reason for the bakery, which features an extensive variety of cupcakes, including those in the shape of Sesame Street characters.
She said diversity is necessary to compensate for uncertain growing seasons.