+ Reply to Thread
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 11 to 16 of 16

Thread: Starting a Business in Maple Syrup

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Ontario Canada
    Posts
    49

    Default

    Is spring here yet?
    If they find a cure, don't tell me

  2. #12
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Thanks everyone for the comments. We work outside of the Maple Syrup "sickness" as "maple flats" puts it, so we are not looking to live off of the maple business. The investment we are planning to put into our pole shed is something that needs to be done anyway, so we aren't looking to make enough to pay that investment off. If we can make enough to pay the up front investment, we are satisfied. We have access to additional trees and will expand as we go. Our major intent is to have this business built up for something to do when we retire. Once we retire, we would like to be established enough that we can "at that time" pull in money for a supplemental income. The beauty of it is, I like to hunt and fish and sugaring is during a time when we don't typically have a lot to do and it get's our butts off the chair and out doing something. Plus....it is a sickness. There's just something about creating maple syrup from a tree. My initial investment will be somewhat large and there is no way I would invest that much on 200-400 trees, so I do have future plans that fit my madness. Also, I have a large number of Birch trees that I can also tap. In addition to that.....I have a good crop of Ironwood that I could play with for some exotic syrup tapping. The main goal is to be able to pay the bills for the first 5 years and then expand from there. We don't expect to pull an income during this time. All we want to accomplish is paying the bills. If we can manage that, we are good to go.

    Maplenutter Butter: I live in central Minnesota around the Mille Lacs Lake area. I'm not sure what sap sells for, but I don't think I could invest this much and pay the bills with selling sap.

    Hook Hill: We donate our fields to my cousin who has an Organic Dairy Farm. My land is registered organic. We could easily raise cattle, but I don't have the time for it.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    7,599

    Default

    Try some birch syrup before you go that route. Some like it, but many don't, but it can give you more use of the expensive equipment. Some of those who do both, find it may not be a good fit, an evaporator sized to handle 500+ taps might be well oversized to do let's say 150 birch taps.
    Dave Klish about 1320 taps in '15, down to about 700 in '16, up to 850 for 2018?
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    added a gooseneck equipment trailer and F350 to tow it to haul more sap
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    http://s1041.photobucket.com/albums/...anssugarhouse/
    website: www.daveandjoanssugarhouse.com

  4. #14
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Thanks Dave. I will certainly follow that advise.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    261

    Default

    It sounds like your expectations are in check. Just be prepared in case you don't break even. There's way too many variables to know how you will do. We also have a stake in an operation to look forward to in retirement. Run the numbers, make an honest business plan and you will know what to expect. Syrup prices are going down, not up for the immediate future. Some guys just wing it, like our current 400 tap operation. We keep afloat now, but we don't take any income from it or plan to get our investment back.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Wantage, NJ
    Posts
    105

    Default

    You can also start up the bussiness slowly. Setting up the woods is the cheaper part of the operation. You said your cousin farmers the property. Does he sell retail? If so can you sell your syrup for you? For the first 3 years I brought my sap to another producer for a 50% split. My buddy/business partner is a produce farmer so he sells all of the syrup at his markets. This built up the customer base. After the intial investment was payed back we lucked into a sweet deal on a brand new/never used 3 year old evaporator for 1/3 the price of new. Of course we now had to build a sugar house, but since we did it ourselves with a bunch of repurposed material it's cost was about $3000 total. The evap and sugar house should be payed back next year.
    Dave C.
    2011 - 130 Taps
    2017 - 300 Taps ( all gravity)
    2x8 Leader Revolution Evaporator
    12x18 Sugarshack

+ Reply to Thread
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts