Maple Syrup as an Added Value Product
In 2007 after a 41year hiatus, Charlie Burke’s Sugar Bush (est. 2010) resumed maple syrup production under the management of new owners Don and Mary Helen Deakin. The Deakins immediately incorporated maple syrup into their breakfast menu. Syrup sales to out-of-country B & B guests soon gained popularity and the Deakins expanded operations by increasing the number of trees tapped.
As their reputation as stewards of the forest environment grew the Deakins began to offer complementary tours to B & B guests. In 2012 An Ontario Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) was completed and filed jointly with the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA) and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food (OMAF). Today this plan continues to inform the ongoing development of tours and workshops for visitors to the Deakins’ maple farm.
Since 2016 maple syrup workshops have attracted a growing number of travellers. During the summer months workshop participants engage in the final stages of syrup production and take home the fruit of their labour as a memento of their time at the Deakins.
In the upcoming 2018 tourist season revenues from this experience are expected to surpass those of the Bed and Breakfast and syrup combined. With maple as the star of the show and with all factors considered – B & B stays, maple product tastings, forest tours and the maple syrup making workshops – every liter of maple syrup can well be said to generate the highest added value of any maple syrup product in the maple syrup world.