Carroll Barclay, who turned Delicious Orchards into what we know it as today, has passed away
The next time you pick up a bag of apples, some apple cider and of course the apple cider donuts, take a moment to remember a man who helped make it all happen.
The Jersey Shore community has lost a legend today.
Carroll Barclay, known affectionately as 'Grandpa Skip' who took over ownership of Delicious Orchards following World War II has been called home to the farm in Heaven, passing away at the age of 94.
The McDonald family, who currently owns the business, made an announcement on the Delicious Orchards Facebook page.
"We were talking one day about how he came up with the idea to open up Delicious Orchards as a retail market.
Often times, everyone is trying to look out of the same window. And they are so busy competing with each other, they never stop to look up and notice there’s another window on the other side of the room, and the view is 10 times better.”
We’ll miss you Grandpa Skip. Heaven just got its apple cider donut game upped in a big way."
Carroll W. Barclay took ownership of Delicious Orchards following World War II and by 1959 there was a surplus of apples, so a 12-hundred foot building was constructed on Route 537 where the wholesale market became a retail market.
Current part-owner Mike McDonald, whose father Bill worked for the Barclay's, says the pies and donuts came next.
"Carroll's wife Janet then started making pies and it's the recipe we still use today," Mike McDonald told Townsquare Media News in 2019. "We started making the apple cider donuts about a year or two later and it was an immediate success. It was a new concept at the time, the farm to table idea, and it went crazy."
McDonald says it was such a success that traffic started building up on Route 537 so in 1964, a new building was constructed on Route 34.
Expansions between the 1970's and early 2000's made the Delicious Orchards we know it as today.
The transition from the Barclay family to the McDonald family, who owns Delicious Orchards now, began in 1977 when the Barclay's and Smiths (who was Carroll's brother-in-law) sold and turned over the business to Tom Gesualdo, Frank McMahon and Bill McDonald.
"My dad started working here when he was 19 and it's actually where he met my mom (Linda)," Mike McDonald said. "Now it's me, my sisters Keri and Erin, my brother Chris and my parents and we're all still actively involved in the business."
Carroll (Skip) W. Barclay, Jr., graduated from Red Bank High School in 1944, attended one semester in pre-med at Syracuse University but decided to return home to help his mother manage the farm at Delicious Orchards in 1945, according to his obituary, and he married Janet McDonald on July 10, 1948.
He is survived by a daughter and a son, Martha Barclay of Berkeley, California and David Barclay of Colts Neck.
He is also survived by six nieces and nephews: Nadine Raley of Austin, Texas, Kathryn Dewitt and her husband Michael of Scarborough, Maine, Jane Murphy and her husband Tim of Jackson, New Jersey, Fred Mc Donald and his wife Robin of Jackson, New Jersey, Barbara McPheters and her husband Ralph of Okabena, Minnesota, Bonnie McDonald of Englishtown, New Jersey.
Here is the history of Delicious Orchards that went from a small farm to what you know it as today because of Carrol Barclay: