Glasgow the main stop for Joy Page's Apple Trolley
By Jim Or
Published: Wednesday, April 7th, 2010
An apple a day keeps the entrepreneur in play.
And 100 apples? Now that's taking care of business.
That's how many decadently tasty caramel and candy covered apples Joy Page says she sells every day at her new specialty shop, The Apple Trolley, on Highway 2 in Glasgow.
“It's been fabulous,” she says. “Word of mouth has been phenomenal.”
The store debuted the day before St. Valentine's Day at the old Hair Barn next to La Casa Motel, with four customers waiting to get in before she opened the doors. Since then, Joy's inventory has been, well, the apple of her customers' eyes at $5 apiece – whole or sliced.
The bubbly storeowner arrives at 6 a.m. on weekdays, skillfully and creatively topping 100 or so Granny Smith apples much as a baker makes the day's doughnuts. She makes the caramel from scratch – and memory, not a recipe. She goes by “how it looks” and keeps stirring until the consistency is right. Takes about 3 hours. The store opens at 10.
Ben & Jerry's ice cream has nothing on Joy when it comes to naming flavors. She gets credit for Totally Toffee, Yummy Gummy Dirt, Cashew Delight, Silky Peanut, Choc' Alot, Mountain Gold and A Slice of Pie.
“My favorite is Montana Gold,” she says. “It's crushed Butterfinger with milk chocolate drizzle. They're my favorite seller here. For some reason I mention Butterfinger and everyone goes for it.”
Joy arrived here from Bigfork, having become familiar with Glasgow through elk and deer hunting, her boyfriend Tim Guttenberg and friends Dan and Darcie Fast. She had rented a Flathead Lake cabin from the Fasts, and Darcie brought some of Joy's apples to Glasgow to give as presents.
As the story goes, Joy and her mom, Pat, first sold the treats at a Bigfork fund-raiser for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life – and sold out of 36 in an hour. They eventually left their jobs at a local bank – Joy as a loan processor, Pat as a teller – to make a career out of those apples.
“It was like we were the talk of the town,” Joy says. “People were coming into the bank and slipping us notes. They were trying to find out where they could get them.”
Sales were even more appetizing last November at Glasgow Civic Center. Joy came to town and sold 250 apples in about three hours at the local chapter of the American Association of University Women's Community Bazaar.
And now, the business has outgrown its name. Joy and her mom once envisioned using an “apple trolley” cart at festivals and the like, but now they each run a store – Pat's is in Bigfork – and online sales are coming soon.
Glasgow High students are among Joy's best customers. Late afternoons can get busy in the shop.
Joy's flavor lineup, meanwhile, has grown from eight to 25.
“I get ideas for flavors in the candy aisle,” she says. “That's how I spend my free time.”
Baby showers, weddings, birthdays and holidays also have their own apples. Halloween had Jack-o'-lantern and ghost apples and St. Patrick's Day had Irish Cream apples. Coming soon: Passionately Pomegranate apples (which are pink and sweet) for Mothers Day.
Also for sale are apple gift boxes and baskets, and chocolate dipped cheesecake.
Some can even treat themselves to an apple and a tan. Building owners Jeff and Della Gardner operate a tanning bed in the backroom, a throwback to the old salon, as an unrelated business.
How 'bout them apples?
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