Each fall, the workers at Way Fruit Farm pull thousands of apple dumplings out of bakery ovens.
But the $4 treats that started the idea for a bakery at the farm don’t bring in any money for the business, co-owner Jason Coopey said.
For the past 10 years, the farm’s owners have been donating 100 percent of the proceeds from the dumplings and 10 percent of the gross income from the two fall festival days to an orphanage in the Dominican Republic.
“We make thousands of dumplings, and all that money goes into the Rose of Sharon Orphanage,” he said.
Way Fruit Farm leaders were looking for a charity to support just as Calvary Baptist Church in State College found a run-down, under-funded orphanage that needed help.
In the decade since, the orphanage has received an upgraded building and water and electric system, and an improved menu for the children.
Coopey wouldn’t reveal how much the business donates to the charity each year, but it’s in the thousands and growing, he said.
Way Fruit Farm also bakes pies, cookies, turnovers, bread, peach dumplings, doughnuts and sticky buns.
The key to a good apple dumpling begins with the fruit, Coopey said.
He added that all the dough should be mixed and rolled out by hand, but the most important thing is to be patient.
“Dumplings aren’t complicated,” he said. “They’re just time consuming.”
Baked goods are one of the major attractions to the fall festivals, which also include a hayride to a pumpkin patch.
This year’s festival days will be Oct. 12 and Oct 19.
Though attendance is partially dependent on weather, Coopey said the festivals continue to grow every year, and attendance has never really leveled off.
He said the days have been “exceptionally busy” and he doesn’t know how much bigger they can get.
But the business will still be donating money to the Rose of Sharon Orphanage for the near future.
— By Matt Morgan