Tell us about yourself, where you grew up, your background, education, and family.
I grew up in New Vernon NJ. Went to The Canterbury School In New Milford, CT then Hartwick College majoring in consumption and Economics! My wife’s name is Hilary LaForge and we have two Kids: Patrick (12) and Charlotte (10) plus an English Golden Retriever named Burleigh. We live in Mendham NJ.
What the heck is Switchel and where did you come up with the idea for CideRoad?
We discovered Switchel while cruising down a side road in New England, hence our name, CideRoad. An unforgettable inaugural swig led us to create our own versions including our Original, a spicy Cherry, and a snappy Blueberry. Turns out it’s a historical drink that dates back to the 1600’s.
They had a bowl of switchel to hydrate our forefathers while they crafted the constitution during the unbearable Philadelphia summer heat of 1787. Apparently Mr. Madison and Mr. Hamilton would spike the switchel with Jamaican rum on days when they needed a little help persuading the rest of the guys to follow their lead!
Its core ingredients: Vermont maple syrup, apple cider vinegar and ginger provide a perfect balance of tart and sweet flavors — creating a unique taste that leaves you wanting more.
What’s it like to quit your job and follow your dream?
At first it’s like whoop whoop! Then its scary as hell! Especially when you see how little you are paying yourself. It’s a lot more work but hopefully worth it in the end. I will say that I have never worked harder and every day is a new learning experience and a new problem to fix. It’s probably akin to trying to maintain a Range Rover P38 as a daily driver 🙂
We know the CideRoad logo includes a cartoon Land Rover. Can you tell us about it?
We wanted our logo to resonate a certain lifestyle. It’s about being adventurous, being outdoors, being active and getting lost in exploration once in a while. The inspiration for our logo was an old Land Rover because there’s something truly unique and authentic about old Rovers. It hints at a certain lifestyle and ties in the whole cide-roading theme.
How many Land Rovers have you owned? What’s the best and worst thing about owning them?
I have owned four Land Rovers so far.. My first encounter with Land Rovers was when my Dad bought a 1968 Series 2A, Model 88 for his Rhode Island summer house. It was sort of a beater, or so I thought but I was simply too young to understand the concept of patina at the time.
I can, however, testify that that truck dominated the Weekapaug sand trail like no other! I bought my first Land Rover, a Disco 2 in 2002. It was used (lightly) and was Adriatic Blue with a light tan interior. I promptly had proper, orange pin stripes painted down the sides and loved that car for many years.
A few years back I bought a 1995 Range Rover Classic, County LWB. It was in pretty good shape and so much fun to drive. I remember driving it to VT with the family and my two little kids were in the back. They had so much leg room that they were scared of all the space! I did some nice work on that truck while I owned it, including rebuilding the cracked center console with real burlwood.
In 2012 I found my dream Rover that I had been searching for, a 1961 Poppy Red Series 2A 109. She will be at the Muddy Chef this summer being towed by my next LR purchase – a 2007 Range Rover LM322, again in dark blue and with blue leather interior. I still drive this truck today as my daily driver and it has 110,000 miles on it – love it!