Orange Pippin was established around 2005 by Richard Borrie, a database programmer living in England, after he was given a Kidd’s Orange Red apple tree as a birthday present. “I was so impressed by the flavour of these home-grown apples that I wanted everyone else to know about it, so I put my tasting notes on the Internet!”.
Other apple descriptions soon followed and the site rapidly established an international following with detailed tasting notes for hundreds of apples, and thousands of visitors every day. Richard’s particular interest was in the flavors and pedigrees of different apple varieties, and over time this variety database became the central feature of the Orange Pippin website.
At about the same time, Scott Chaussee, an apple enthusiast from Michigan USA, and Topper Sponsel, an orchard owner and apple breeder from Minnesota USA, established their own website - All About Apples. Scott explained how they started: “Topper and I wanted to build a community website that gave apple lovers a place to learn more about apples, and find orchards all across the country where they could go and get great tasting fresh apples and varieties you can’t get in your local grocery store.”
Like Orange Pippin, the All About Apples website grew rapidly in content and scope. Although both sites had begun life as hobby projects, over time they transformed into leading online resources, catering to the growing public interest in apples on both sides of the Atlantic.
Scott and Richard naturally became aware of each other and corresponded from time to time. Although Orange Pippin and All About Apples overlapped in some areas, for the most part they were distinctly different, reflecting the individual interests of their owners.
In the spring of 2011 Scott decided to re-launch All About Apples with greatly expanded content and an enhanced Orchards Directory. In a moment of inspiration he contacted Richard and suggested they collaborate to produce a single website which would combine their talents and resources. Since both Richard and Scott had spent many years working largely alone on their respective websites, this was a brave idea. However during a number of online Skype sessions the two enthusiasts soon found that they could work together.
As Richard said: “It quickly became clear to both of us that we were ideal partners, with a shared passion for apples, and yet we each brought very different skills to the mix. It had never occurred to me to collaborate with anyone, yet I could immediately see that Scott’s vision of a single website was right, and we could accomplish so much more together than we could separately.”
This new site was launched in the summer of 2011 as Orange Pippin in partnership with All About Apples, and brings together the best features of both the old sites to give apple enthusiasts around the world an unparalleled wealth of resources about apples and orchards.
Richard and Scott – who still have not actually met each other in person – shared an online glass of apple cider at the launch party to celebrate their alliance. As Scott said: “The new site is a great step forward, and achieves exactly what we set out to do. But really it is just a start, we have lots more ideas that we have been firing off each other over the last few months, as well as ideas sent in by website visitors, and the new site will continue to evolve.”
While the focus of the Orange Pippin website is on apples, the site also has information on Plums and Cherries. Richard and Scott have plans to greatly expand their information on those fruits, as well as extend the site to other fruits such as pears and vines/grapes.
Richard lives in Pocklington in the United Kingdom, with his wife and four children. He runs a software company specialising in websites and databases for small businesses.
Scott lives in Traverse City, Michigan, USA with his wife and apple loving son. He runs a web consulting business catering to agricultural and food service businesses.
To get in touch with Scott and Richard please use the Enquiry Form.
Scott and Richard are regularly asked if they have their own favorite apples:
Richard: "As an Englishman, I should say Cox's Orange Pippin, and on a good day from a good tree in a good season it is certainly hard to beat it. However there is one variety that I think really can surpass Cox's Orange Pippin for outright flavor, and that is Rubinette. If you love apples you have to try it, I think it has the best balance of sweet and sharp of any variety."
Scott: "There are not many apples I don't enjoy eating. But, if I had to describe a favorite type of apple it would be those that are more complex in flavor - ones that, if someone asked you to describe its taste, you have to actually think about it and not just blurt out something like, 'super sweet' or 'very tart'. Esopus Spitzenberg is probably my favorite of these types of apples, with the extra advantage being you can buy some and know that if you don't eat them all for a few weeks or months, they will actually get even better tasting. Although it's hard to let them sit that long!"
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