ELIZABETHTOWN — The members of the Elizabethtown Rotary Club met Wednesday at San Jose Restaurant and were treated to a presentation from Karla Ward, who serves as marketing director for Lu Mil Vineyard.
Ward spoke briefly about Taylor Manufacturing and its products.
“A lot of people are going back into farming tobacco,” said Ward.
She said as the farmers return to farming tobacco they are learning that their equipment is either outdated or no longer functions.
Ward said that Taylor Manufacturing still makes tobacco bulk barns and other implements for tobacco farming.
“Our barns operate at a better efficiency rate than others,” said Ward.
She also spoke briefly about the Taylor Water Stoves.
Ward said that many people are familiar with the Taylor Manufacturing Ice House ice and the blue Ice Houses.
“We’ve bought another ice company in Brunswick County,” said Ward.
With that purchase the company is able to provide ice in both the ice houses and in commercial locations such as grocery stores from Raleigh to the coast.
Ward also said that Ron Taylor is always seeking to be proactive and finding ways to utilize every part of a product.
She said D’Vine Foods was born when Taylor began to try to find a way to be innovative in his use of products. Ward said that for example, a farmer will pick his blueberry crop and once he sends his product to market he has some flats of blueberries remain.
Ward said those berries can be made into a product the farmer can take back to his roadside stand and sell to the public.
“We searched for an FDA approved kitchen but there was none in area,” said Ward.
Hence, D’vine Foods was built to fill that need. Ward said now D’Vine Foods can take foods and create products as jams and jellies. Ward said D’vine Foods products are displayed at many food product shows.
Ward said that the expansion at D’vine Foods will not only house the kitchens for D’Vine Foods but there will also be a restaurant and gift store.
She added that folks can also see D’Vine Foods products being made.
Ward said Lu Mil Vineyard is in its eighth year of the Christmas Light Show. She said this year they have added new decorations and changed the route which is now three-quarters of a mile longer.
Folks will still find the Candy Shop and can visit with Santa.
In addition to the seasonal events, Ward said that Lu Mil has the capacity to host corporate events, can host informal group meetings and retreats, and other events.
Ward said there are now nine cabins available for rent along with the Taylor House. She added that many brides like to rent the Taylor House to stay in for weddings.
Ward said Lu Mil still carries a variety of estate wines.