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Our maple farm has over one thousand acres of maple trees, spread out across two large basins. There is a lot of territory to cover and not to mention endless nights of boiling maple sap in the sugar house. We ship most of this syrup to our production facility in Winooski, where we bottle, produce confections and, market and distribute nationwide. We're also on the road presenting our wares at food shows as we break into the wholesale market. At any given time there are a lot of moving parts! It takes many hands to make all of this possible, and without these hard working and dedicated individuals, our little company could not exist. We are so proud of our employees and thankful for their contributions.
Meet the heart and soul of Mount Mansfield Maple Products.
Chris is a fifth-generation maple sugar maker and in 2009 he created this website in an attempt to market his share of the family maple crop. The company consisted of a plywood platform in the garage and a post office box. With dedication to customer service along with perfecting the finest pure Vermont maple products, his hobby company has grown to 10 full-time employees and almost 8,000 square feet of production, warehousing and distribution. In his spare time, he is an avid nature and astrophotographer and spends countless hours hiking and exploring the Vermont Green Mountains.
Lindsay works behind the scenes here at Mansfield Maple assisting with product development and helping to steer the course of the business. Her input has been invaluable and has helped mold Mansfield Maple into what it is today. If she had a dollar for every time we asked her "What do you think of..." she could retire early (and so could Chris!) Lindsay is an active equestrian with a focus on Jumping and takes immense joy from her two Rotties and her participation with Mountain Rottie Rescue.
Bob has forgotten more about maple sugaring than many people could learn in two lifetimes. He is a reverse osmosis expert, vacuum expert, and an expert in Yankee Ingenuity. He never stops experimenting and believes that perfection can always be improved upon. This drives him to innovate with new and existing technologies to improve process efficiency and product quality. He is not out there to re-invent the wheel... just to make it better. In addition to maple sugaring, Bob along with his wife Joan own one of the largest and most successful choose and cut Christmas tree farms in the northeast. His hobbies are his livelihood, but if you can't find him on the farm, chances are he is enjoying some quiet water in the kayak with his wife.
One of Joan's real passions is coming up with new maple recipes, whether they use maple as an ingredient, or whether maple is the main ingredient. Joan is also one of the key individuals who produce maple syrup here at Mansfield Maple and spends tireless hours beside the evaporator drawing off most of the premium Vermont maple syrup we produce. Outside of the sugar house and Christmas tree farm her true passions lie with her 5 year old golden retriever Toma, kayaking, painting and gardening.
Kirk just doesn't slow down and doesn't know when it's time to quit. He lives for working in the woods and puts on more miles every year than anyone else tapping trees, fixing problems in the woods, setting up new taps and even working late into the night at the sugar house. He loves maple and after working all day up at our sugar bush heads over to his parent's house and helps them boil the sap from the 500 trees in their back yard. We call that dedication. In the off-season, Kirk owns a mowing business and is contracted by many towns in Vermont to mow the sides of the road. He's the guy that works to keep Vermont's roads beautiful!
Scott works in our sugar bush year-round, tapping trees and harvesting sap during the season and updating and maintaining our 1,000-acre sugar bush in the off-season. It would be fun to add up all the miles he has walked through these woods! He's got a sugar bush of his own that he maintains by headlamp after he leaves work here. That's no easy feat considering he has a couple thousand taps!
It does not matter how cold it gets you will only find Dave working in the woods in a pair of shorts. We're talking ten below zero, in four feet of snow, in a blizzard or wind and sleet, Dave is in shorts. We're not even sure he owns a pair of pants, let alone snow pants. All joking aside, Dave is one of the hardest workers here on the farm. He has only one exertion level: 110%. Everything from cutting trees to making repairs to sap lines fall under Dave's area of expertise. He hates leaks in our sap line vacuum system and spends hours and hours every season hunting down these vacuum leaks. Dave's motto and most used quote: "Sugaring is always uphill."
Tom is a 35-year veteran of the Vermont Forest and Parks agency. He has dedicated his life work to a stewardship of Mother Nature and helping others to enjoy it. If there is steam rising at our sugar house you can bet Tom is there to lend a hand or as often as not, run the show. Tom has an intimate understanding of everything in the sugar house from evaporator to filter press. He makes sure that the evaporator is running smoothly and monitors sap level, foam action, niter build up and more. He is an expert at balancing syrup density, determining grade and taste tests a sample of just about every barrel we make. Tom's experience and expertise in forestry also makes him an invaluable asset with our sugar bush management plan, determining cull trees, cultivating maple stands and more.
Mark spends time at both our production facility outside of Burlington, Vermont as well as at the sugar bush where we produce our pure maple syrup. At the shop he assists in all aspects of production and up at the sugar bush he puts on many miles in the woods helping to keep the sap collection system functioning in tip top shape. After working the woods all day, Mark also spends many nights boiling in the sugar house hustling barrels of syrup as we fill them off the arch. When he isn't working, Mark enjoys working on his many side projects, including milling his own boards and working on his property, which borders the sugar bush.