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Tastee Apple has been family owned and operated since John Hackenbracht and his son, Greg, started the business in 1974 in the small, historic Village of Newcomerstown, Ohio. John Hackenbracht owned Hackenbracht Orchard, and from 1958 to 1976, he served as manager of the Ohio Fruit Growers Marketing Association, a grower-owned marketing cooperative that matches producers with buyers.
The seed for starting a caramel apple business was planted in the 1960s. But it wasn’t until Greg graduated from high school in 1973, at the start of economic recession, that the idea seriously took root.
With Greg facing very few prospects for employment and college money in short supply, John had the perfect solution. They would start a caramel-apple business where Greg could work six months out of the year and go to college the other six. Tastee Apple, Inc. was officially born!
Upon receiving his Bachelor of Science (BS) in Marketing/Marketing Management from Bowling Green State University in 1979, Greg eagerly joined Tastee Apple, Inc. on a full-time basis. And during his first 12-15 years with the company, Greg worked long hours, seven days a week. And you could often find him sleeping in a chair at the plant during the company’s busy season!
When John passed away in 2007, he did so with the comforting knowledge that the Tastee Apple legend would live on and thrive in the very capable hands of his son, who continues to serve as Tastee Apple Inc.’s President.
Greg Hackenbracht has always had fruit in his blood. Growing up beside the 4,000 apple and peach trees on his family’s property, he lived, breathed and ate fruit as a kid.
“I always knew what a good apple was supposed to be,” he laughs.
Over the last 40 years, Tastee has sold over 250,000,000 apples with candy, chocolate, caramel, and other toppings. The only company in the industry certified by the Safe Quality Food Institute, all of the apples go through a unique, seven-step rating process to guarantee the quality and freshness of the fruit.
Perfectly-ripe apples are “sticked” in made-from-scratch, small-batch, kettle-cooked caramel or a candy coating. After the apples cool, they are rolled in gooey toppings like milk, dark or white chocolate and then rolled in fresh peanuts, pecans, cookies, or pretzels. The candy and caramel apples are then carefully packaged, stored and shipped to stores throughout the country. The company continues to grow and create new and delicious, apple treats each year to satisfy both new and loyal customers.