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HVADC Client: Westwind Orchard

May 31, 2023

Over the past 15 years Fabio Chizzola, owner of Westwind Orchard in Accord New York, has turned an old fruit farm into one of the region’s best and most unique cideries and farm restaurants. Along with the excellent cider and beautiful atmosphere, Westwind offers a menu of Romanesque Italian food, and what Food and Wine called, “one of the best pizzas in New York.” Westwind also hosts a full calendar of events including weekly salsa classes and dances, and live music on the weekends.


HVADC recently provided Chizzola with the Business Technical Assistance (BTA) needed to acquire an Ulster County CARES II Small Business Assistance Program grant for the construction of an agricultural storage building. The new resources will allow Chizzola to focus on farm and food rather than paperwork. HVADC has had the pleasure of working with Westwind on multiple occasions, assisting with the acquisition of two grants in 2016 & 2017 that went towards the establishment of his now flourishing cider business. One was from the New York New Farmers Grant Fund and the other was a USDA Value Added Producer Grant. Chizzola worked closely with business opportunities management consultant Brian Zweig, and HVADC Deputy Director Mary Ann Johnson.


“Mary Ann has been super, super, super helpful on everything from the beginning,” Chizzola said. “Not just with the grants. If I have a question, I can just call them. I come from a very different background so the back side of running a farm and a restaurant was really new to me.”


Chizzola’s first career was as a successful, hard working fashion photographer. He was able to transition to the very different world of agriculture because of his work ethic. He’s constantly working, constantly doing and constantly creating new ideas to bring to his customers.


“I just followed my heart and tried to do what I know best but you can’t know everything,” he said. “HVADC really helped us. They match you with amazing professionals like Brian.”


Through the Incubator Without Walls program, Chizzola worked with Zweig on all three grant applications. “Fabio has a tremendous amount of energy,” Zweig said. “He put so much in to restoring a derelict orchard and revitalized it.”


Everything at Westwind is a product of the land under BioIntensive practices. Nearly everything they grow goes into the restaurant and value-added products like cider and a line of fruit preserves sold in their on-site farmstand. Westwind has over 300 chickens and almost all the eggs go into the pasta dough, carbora and tiramisu served in their trattoria.


“It’s our niche, I sell very little produce and fresh food. It mostly goes into the kitchen,” Chizzola said. Then, with a laugh he added, “Seeing it from the outside it looks ideal, but the amount of labor is high! But that’s why the quality is high.”


Westwind is across the street from the Arrowood Farms brewery (a fellow HVADC client.) Chizzola said the success of both businesses has made their little corner of Ulster County more of a destination.  “I wouldn’t call it a competition - it’s a collaboration,” he said. “We offer different experiences and people love to come to both. Our new adventure this summer is that we are starting to do gelato – with our fruit!”


“HVADC’s work with Fabio is a great example of the service we strive to provide to the agribusiness community. We’ve assisted with grant applications as needed but have also just been there to help with questions and connections,” said Johnson. “Fabio has turned Westwind into a gorgeous expression of his creativity, culture and skill. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience you can only find in the Hudson Valley.”


To learn more about the BTA assistance that HVADC provides through Incubator Without Walls, visit

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