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Sugarmaker Profiles

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Pumpkin themed syrup a good business for Michigan family

Stan Maddux | December 4, 2019

CHARLEVOIX, Mich.—Maple syrup with a taste of pumpkin is among the selections offered by a growing family-owned syrup making company to get customers in the mood for autumn.

Harwood Gold in Charlevoix, Michigan has a wide selection of year round and seasonal flavors, including Pumpkin Spice.

Amber Munday and her sister, Katie Untalan, have greatly expanded the maple syrup menu since taking over the brand from their parents, Dave and Terri Parsons, in 2014.

Munday said she inserts pumpkin spices into each bottle then pours hot maple syrup into the bottles to draw out the flavors.

She said their Cinnamon Quill, Three Bean and Bourbon Barrel Aged infused maple syrups are also seasonal but more consistent than Pumpkin Spice in sales throughout the year.

‘’In my opinion, all of maple syrup is a very autumn product,” Munday said. “This is the time of year where our product sales start to increase because it’s a very warm and cozy product to want to have on your breakfast table.” MORE ]

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Outdoor boiler is the envy of the neighborhood

Peter Gregg | June 5, 2019

Jonathan Finney of Jackson, N.Y. loves the outdoors in general, but especially for boiling.

Finney is one of a handful of sugarmakers who like to boil exposed to the elements, with no sugarhouse or roof cover.

The Maple News visited Finney and his homemade outdoor set-up on March 25, during a five-day run that kept him boiling every day from dawn to dusk.

“I love being out in the elements,” he said. “Either the sun is shining on you or it’s snowing on you. There’s just something about it.” MORE ]

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Sugarmaker profile: Al & Amy Stein in Corfu, N.Y.

Alicia Keller | December 5, 2018

ORFU, N.Y.—Al and Amy Stein with the support of their family operate Sweet Dream Maple Farm on Reynolds Road in Corfu, N.Y. The couple moved to the area in 1989. Amy was the daughter of a doctor and grew up in Clarence, New York. Al’s father was a golf pro and purchased a golf course where Amy worked. The rest is history!

“I grew up in the Adirondack Mountains and my family made maple syrup, everyone made maple syrup if you had the trees,” Al Stein said.

Sweet Dream Maple Farm is the only maple operation commercially producing in Corfu.

“I never dreamed that I would be on a farm. My Dad was a doctor and I got everything I wanted as a child. Then I married this guy who has made me work my butt off but I would not have it any other way,” Amy Stein said. MORE ]

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Matt Emerick, Pa. Maple King ending seventh reign

Sandra Lepley | August 20, 2018

HYNDMAN, Penn.—After seven years, the reign comes to an end.
Matt Emerick, 35, of Hyndman, Pa., in Somerset County wrapped up his seventh term as Pa. Maple King in March.
His father, Ed Emerick, held the title four times so their camp, Emerick's Pure Maple Products at 180 Ridge Rd. in Southampton Township, has won a total of 11 times. But, the accolades don't stop there.
Champion syrup through the festival contest came in 1989, 1993, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2016 and 2018.
In Somerset County, Pa., the largest maple syrup producing county in Pennsylvania, a contest for Pa. Maple King has been held during the Pa. Maple Festival in Meyersdale for decades. MORE ]

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Crazy about maple: From engineer to full-time sap boiler

Paul Post | Feb. 1, 2018

Kirk Bassarab readily admits he’s crazy about maple.

Why else would he give up a well-paying, secure job with benefits to go full-time into sugaring?

Bassarab and his wife, Kristy, own Black Rooster Maple in Keene, N.Y., on busy state Route 73, the main travel corridor for people headed to Lake Placid, the “Olympic Village,” which attracts countless visitors throughout the year.

They are just now putting finishing touches on a brand-new sugarhouse in preparation for the 2018 season. MORE ]

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At Riverside Maple Farms, it's all hands on deck

Paul Post | Jan. 20, 2018

At Riverside Maple Farms, there’s no such thing as a spectator.

Man or woman, it’s all hands on deck, from setting taps and stringing tubes to greeting customers at the firm’s gleaming new 5,300-square-foot operation on Route 5, a busy four-lane state highway in Glenville, N.Y., about midway between Schenectady and Amsterdam in the lower Mohawk Valley.

“No one’s safe from any job here,” Erica Welch, said smiling. “We’re all utility infielders. No one does just one thing. Everybody does everything, especially from January to April.” MORE ]

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Vermont sugarmaker is industry's spout curator

Peter Gregg | Jan. 18, 2018

It all started when he was a kid, as these kind of things often do. Hale Mattoon, a sugarmaker in the hills of Chelsea, Vt. has since become the pre-eminent spout and maple artifact curator in the industry.

“For me, it’s a thrill,” Mattoon says of his lifelong passion, collecting maple spouts and other artifacts like evaporator fronts, buckets, tapping bits and sap regulators.

But his primary passion is spouts. MORE ]

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At Papa John's, life’s passion about to get bigger

Paul Post | Dec. 28, 2017

Mark Turco goes to work to make a living. Making maple is his passion.

As a young kid, the Mount Holly, Vermont resident would pedal his bike down the road, and watch with fascination as steam billowed from a neighbor’s sugarhouse and the sweet aroma of boiling sap filled the air. In eighth grade, Turco fashioned his own evaporator out of a 55-gallon drum, which he made in a shop metals class. Right out of high school, he purchased his first real evaporator -- a 4-foot by 14-foot model -- for $3,400 that he earned doing odd jobs and selling syrup.

Turco, 52, is amazed how far he’s come since then. MORE ]