This holiday season, Ottawa Foodie Girlz is celebrating the 12 days of Christmas with a festive Q&A style blog series featuring one local business per day. We’ve spent the last few weeks connecting with local business owners and each day we will we will reveal the business, their story, and a special giveaway. That’s right, we have 12 giveaways coming up!
Make sure to check out our 12 days of Christmas event page every day as we reveal the next business. All giveaways will start the day the blog is featured end 5 days later! All photos have been provided by the business, unless otherwise credited.
On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me.....
Why/How/When did you start your business?
In 1982, we re-established a long tradition of maple syrup production on Ray's parents’ farm on the west shore of Clayton Lake. Since then, our children and their spouses, along with our grandchildren have worked together to make this a multigenerational business.
Maple syrup has a long history in Lanark County. Considered the Maple Capital of Ontario, maple syrup has been a part of growing up for many families – including ours.
Tell us about your successes and/or challenges?
Within a 20 kms of our sugar camp sit six other maple businesses, so it can be a challenge to find our place in the market. Luckily, Lanark County has an incredible support network for maple syrup producers. We are active members of the Lanark and District Maple Syrup Producers Association (www.ldmspa.com), which brings together over 70 producers from Lanark County, Frontenac County, Leeds & Grenville County, and the Ottawa-Carleton areas of Eastern Ontario. With annual meetings, networking opportunities, industry and educational talks, it is great organization to belong to and it helps producers like us find opportunities and their niche in the sweet maple market.
We have been lucky enough to have a number of successes as our business has grown over the past 30+ years. We have focused on selling our handmade products to local markets throughout the Ottawa and valley areas. We spent 5+ years selling at was the Stittsville Flea Market. It was here that we met Lyle, “The Fudge Man”, who told us of his adventures at the Calgary Stampede. It was always our dream to sell our syrup there and this past July we headed west to fulfill this dream, selling our product at the Etsy Marketplace at the Calgary Stampede. We were proud to bring such an iconic Canadian product to western Canada and offer it to visitors from all over the world.
What is your most popular product?
Our 100% pure maple syrup, available in a variety of packaging, is our most popular product. Maple syrup itself is very versatile and can be used for anything from dessert toppings to salad dressings, stir-fry sauce, baked-goods and much, much more! It is also used to make our 100% pure maple products; including soft maple sugar, maple taffy, maple butter, and granulated maple sugar. In recent years we have started making some new delicious maple treats to expand our product line, including maple popcorn, maple fudge, maple granola and maple spice rub.
What do you want people to know about you and your products?
Our business is a family tradition and we take great pride in that. All of our sap is collected within a 5 km radius of the sugar camp, our main equipment supplier is just down the road, and our camp is always filled with family members. We are involved in every aspect of the creation of our products, from tapping the trees on our farm, gathering and boiling the sap to make syrup, bottling, designing and printing our own labels, and making all of our maple products – everything! We pride ourselves in creating 100% pure, local, hand-made products.
Where else can people find your products?
We have partnered with a number of local retailors where our product is carried. They include:
Flapjack’s Pancake Shack
We have recently partnered with the amazing Flapjack Pancake Shack restaurant that now serves our maple syrup at all of their locations. Be sure to stop by for some of their delicious pancakes, topped with our delicious maple syrup!
Our sugar camp – All of our products are available at our sugar camp during the maple season (March & April)
Thompson’s Black Rock Park
Clayton General Store
Patrice’s Independent Grocer
Pêches & Poivre
Antrium Truck Stop
We recently acquired our federal license that allows us to export our products outside of Ontario. We now have an Etsy store (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThompsontownMaple) and our focus over the next year will be to introduce an online store to our website to allow us to build upon the momentum of the Calgary Stampede and to provide our products to people throughout Canada. Also, we will continue to participate in local markets and annual festivals including Maple Weekend (http://mapleweekend.ca) and The Festival of Maples in Perth (http://perthchamber.com/chamber-events/festival-of-the-maples/).
780 Black Rock Lane, Clayton, ON K0A1P0