It didn’t take long for Tracy Moore to realize the potential for maple syrup products when she started selling her sauces and dressings at local farmers markets. A creative sort, she answered the early demand by establishing Everything Maple in Orillia, Ont.
“The company grew out of another company called the Syrup Guy,” she says. “We sold 4,000 products for the making and bottling of maple syrup. However, that industry is a very small and you really don’t do much business in the summer. My background as a caterer led me to bring some products I created to a farmers market where they became an immediate success. That was about seven years ago.”
Moore started out with a barbecue sauce and grew the line of products from there. She has now created 80 products but carries 120 by bringing in other products from other maple syrup producers. The success of Everything Maple relies on Moore’s ability to create in the kitchen. A caterer for six years and a chocolate maker for 30, Moore has brought a talent for combining natural products into sauces and dressings.
“It’s a talent I have. I’m able to create and make up food profiles that exploit the attributes of maple syrup,” she says.
Moore employs two full-time and four part-time staff members. She uses a co-packer to pack the top eight products, which are sold mostly in specialty stores.
“They are high-end gourmet, specialty produce and meat stores,” she says.
Everything Maple is currently getting into the all-natural organic market, which is the fastest growing segment of the food industry. The company’s products are well suited to this particular market as they are low in fat, all the ingredients are natural and maple syrup is high in anti-oxidants.
“We have a couple of demographics that are interested in our product line,” Moore says. “The first is an aging yuppie population that has a little bit more to spend on what we call lavish necessities. The up-and-coming group is what we call the granola group who are looking for a ‘clean label’, which means they’re looking for product labels they can read and understand, and know that the product is local, sustainable and renewable. Just this summer we noticed a new demographic using our product and that is the health and fitness group or our spandex group. They like the fact that there are no trans-fats, the products are very low in fat and the carbs are in line.”
The products, although they are priced on the high end of the scale, provide great value for the money. For example, the barbecue sauce is so thick it only takes one application to coat the food and therefore lasts longer than most regularly priced brands.
The company does between $200 and $250,000 in sales per year and is thinking of expanding into other markets including the United States. They will be showcased in the Canadian Pavilion at Disney’s Epcot Center in Orlando, Fla.
“One thing leads to another,” Moore says. “The chefs at the Epcot Center are requesting more and more of my product in order to feature it in the recipes they’re using at their restaurants. We are also being used at the White House. The executive chef there tried my products and asked to use it to cook for the Bushes.”
Moore taps her own trees just to stay active in the industry but is now involved in brokering maple syrup. There are 3,300 maple syrup producers in the province of Ontario and she currently uses approximately 30 drums of 35 gallons each for her recipes.
Working with the co-packers is an important part of her business. It involves doing test runs in their kitchens in order to work out formulas that will suit a larger run of the products.
“The recipe for 24 bottles of product changes when you’re now talking about 120 cases,” Moore says. “We have to modify my recipes ever so slightly when working with large kettles. We do a run of a test batch and adjust accordingly.”
The future is indeed bright, as Moore is open to new ideas such as eventually centralizing the whole process under one roof. Until then, she foresees a constantly expanding market for her products and perhaps moving them to more mainstream grocery venues.
For more information, visit www.everythingmaple.com.
Everything Maple: Creating a New Market for Maple Syrup ProductsOctober 20, 2008 Written by Michael McKay
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