In 1902 Ludwig and Elizabeth Bierwagen, from Bessarabia via South Dakota, arrived in what is now Chicago Park, California, purchased land and began farming—mainly grapes, plums and Bartlett pears. Their son Christian soon came and bought adjoining land and began farming—the beginnings of Donner Trail Fruit. In 1912 Christian married Bertha Sternitzky, a young woman from Wisconsin, and they had two children, Ernst and Dorothea.
Marianne Corbett moved to Nevada County to teach Home Economics at the Old Nevada City High School. She and Ernst met at a square dance, eventually married and spent the rest of their lives working and raising their five children on the farm where Ernie was born.
In 1974, Ernie and Marianne opened the Happy Apple Kitchen, where Marianne began making her famous apple pies. Daughters Anna and Teresa now own and operate the business, still making pies “the way Mom taught us.” As often as available, we use farm fresh fruit, grown here in Chicago Park at the family farm, owned and operated by brother Chris, along with our brother Jim and his wife Debbie and daughter Rosie Bierwagen, who is the fifth generation. Our sister Mary joins the fun whenever she can.
We are happy to offer you our delicious pies and baked goods, along
with a wide choice of sandwiches and fresh homemade salads, most
of which are made using Marianne’s original recipes.
Join the family TODAY at Bierwagen's Happy Apple Kitchen for lunch,
a piece of pie, or a delicious milkshake. You will fall in love with
our little piece of the country!