A slice of Stars Hollow in a warm apple pie

We found a slice of Stars Hollow in a warm apple pie.

As avid Gilmore Girls fan (we own every episode and still cheered its Netflix debut), we’re suckers for small town charm.

Imagine our excitement, then, when we stumbled into the Apple Creek Orchard, looking for a few extra items for a “Taste of Wisconsin” gift box.

The smell of warm cinnamon lured us into the sweet little shop that sits on the edge of a small apple orchard just east of Freedom, Wisconsin. Even sweeter, and even warmer, though, was proprietress Cindy Pynenberg. Cindy and her husband Rick run the orchard with occasional help from their five grown children and 11 grandchildren.

Too late, I noticed a sign near the cash register that said cash or checks only.

“Oh, shoot!” I said, arms full of preserves, apple chips, and apples. “I’m not sure how much cash I brought. I’ll have to come back tomorrow.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Cindy said. “Just take what you want and you can send me the cash later.”


“Oh, sure,” she said. “I offer that all the time and I’ve never been burned.”

I found some cash I didn’t realize I had brought, and covered my purchases for the day, but I’m still thrilled to live in a community in which owners are that trusting and customers that worthy.

In a tragic combination of clumsiness and karma (with a touch of someone keeping an eye on our caloric intake) I dropped the pie I bought in my driveway and had to shovel most of it into the garbage.

What little I tasted, though, sent me right back to the little apple store, and, on Sunday, I managed to score the perfect post-Packer game treat.

We had that delicious, caramely pie for dinner, and then dessert.

If you want to taste a really fresh apple, a sweet piece of pie, or some good old Americana, pack a little cash and swing on over to the Apple Creek Orchard.

You’ll be thrilled to know places like that still exist in this world.

There’s an oven right behind this table that sends sweet smells of apple and cinnamon wafting through the store.
And you can’t beat fresh picked apples, especially Honey Crisp.
You can eat your fill of free samples, just like in the orchard.
If you prefer to pick your own, there’s a whole orchard surrounding the shop.
The jellies and preserves have clever names like “Traffic Jam”.
I feel like this could be the Gilmore Girls set.
The recently opened upstairs has all kinds of cute clothing and decorations.
Here is Cindy, next to a cork board containing clips, thank you notes and pictures of the grandchildren. You’ll feel like you stumbled into an impossibly welcoming living room when you walk into her store.

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