Producer Spotlight: Sawyer’s Organic Maple Syrup
How a 17-Year-Old Got In The Maple Syrup Business
Kurt Sawyer has been in the maple syrup business since he was 17 years old.
As most paths do, Kurt’s journey into the industry began inadvertently. He and his family jumped in to help a local maple producer, Dale, after his sugar house burned down in the middle of the harvest season—a devastating blow for any producer. Kurt’s family helped Dale’s team to get on their feet again, and so began a blooming friendship and mentorship that would last decades, to the present day.
Kurt began to help Dale in his maple woods, assisting with tapping trees, fixing pipes and tubing, and boiling syrup. Before long, he got what is known as the “maple bug.” Sensing Kurt’s growing interest, Dale generously cut Kurt a deal where Kurt could sublease under him and send him sap to be boiled on shares.
In January 2010, at the ripe age of 22, Kurt started running his own pipe and tapping trees with the help of his family.
That spring, he started with 1,400 taps; by the end of the season he was selling his very own organic maple syrup.
Kurt was, in his own words, “hooked,” and wanted to venture further into the business.
Time went on, and Kurt continued to grow the business. Eventually, his parents and brother decided to join, and together they now have 5,300 taps and a sugar house built in 2015.
2017 was a marker year in growth. Kurt’s business and farm underwent more changes when he married the love of his life, Rachel. Together they expanded maple production into its current capacity, focusing on delivering healthy and high-quality products.
So, Why Organic?
“Isn’t all maple syrup considered organic? It all comes from trees, right?”
Unfortunately, it’s not that easy.
As more and more people become aware of harmful chemicals in their food, organic certification requires that trees tapped for maple sap be at least 300 feet from fields sprayed with chemicals and pesticides. This also goes for roadside trees where weed killers, road salt and other treatments may enter the roots of the trees.
What’s more, the production of maple syrup nearly always requires that a defoamer be added during the boiling process. Not all defoamers are alike. Some producers use butter to counteract foam, but that eliminates any consumers with a dairy allergy.
Some use man-made chemicals. Organic-certified producers are allowed to use organic safflower oil or organic sunflower oil, which are both considered acceptable in the food industry.
Organic certifications also help to ensure proper cleaning agents are used to protect the integrity of the maple syrup produced.
Sawyer’s Maple Farm: “Maine made the way syrup oughta be!”
Located in Somerset County, the largest maple syrup producing county in the United States, Sawyer’s Certified Organic Maple Farm is nestled in the foothills of Boundary Bald Mountain of Moose River, Maine.
In the 11 years they have been in business, Sawyer’s Maple Farm organic maple syrup has been sold to nearly every state in America and all over the world. Their line of maple products has expanded as well, growing from only maple syrup to maple sugar, granola, maple rub, cotton candy, and many more.
Using the most evolved technology in the industry, Sawyer’s Maple Farm is dedicated to providing customers with the highest quality pure maple syrup and syrup products available.