Specialty Food Magazine

WINTER 2015

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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scale producers and family-run," she notes. "We hope that our effort to support and promote these hardworking artisans will make their operations more economically viable so that the next generation will take on sugar-making in the future." Finding her current partners was sim- ple. "I've known them for years and took my kids into their sugar houses to share in their culture and history," Ross says. "They're great Vermonters and doing something really special. I'd like to keep adding local families and, who knows, expand to other parts of Vermont and even Canada. But our focus is to support small family farms in this area right now." Mother Nature in Control… As in farming, Mother Nature is in charge in the sugaring world. "It's so out of the sugar makers hands," Ross says of supply. "I work with two families; the partriachs are in their late 70s and early 80s and have been sugar- ing their entire lives. These fifth- and sixth- generation sugarers are true artisans. And every season I approach them and ask when is the sap going to start running—and they look at me and shrug their shoulders." Fortunately, customers haven't been troubled by the lack of certainty. "This past spring we were supposed to send out the third package for the adoption pro- gram in March. It was a late sugaring that didn't start until April, and we didn't have the product to send out," Ross says. They instead swapped in two bottles of a dark syrup that was available. "We haven't received any complaints." Tonewood's support materials declare "Mother Nature is in control." Following suit with that belief, the company became a 1% for the Planet member in 2013, com- mitting to donate 1 percent of all sales to climate-change research efforts at the University of Vermont's Proctor Maple Research Center. In fact, it was Tonewood that encouraged the Proctor Center to join the 1% for the Planet program launch. Winter Fancy Food Show Booth 3412 "Our partnering farmer families are ffth- and sixth-generation sugar makers who are our neighbors in the Mad River Valley here in Vermont." giving back Paul Hartshorn has been sugaring for over 70 years in the heart of the Green Mountains. 78 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE specialtyfood.com

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