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Today Dick and Gale O’Brien have a 2500-tap maple syrup operation plus a supply business for maple syrup producers both large and small, but it all started as a hobby.

Most of their maple products are marketed directly to customers. Gale has been responsible for getting them into selling at a lot of craft shows.

They also market to such high-end customers as a couple of wineries in Niagara and The Old Mill restaurant in Toronto.

O’Brien is past president of the Ontario Maple Syrup Producers’ Association and was president at the time the Seal of Quality designation was being introduced.
The O’Briens’ own operation has gone through the quality assurance steps necessary to become a Seal of Quality producer.

It was five years ago that he got into the equipment side of the operation, taking over a small dealership in the area.
"We provide supplies for the bigger producers, but what I found (as a producer) is that there was virtually no one around who made syrup who was
a dealer who I could go to and get some really
good advice from. And we’re
able to sit and talk
to the smaller producer."

O’Brien has also taken a lot of pleasure
in innovation over the years. “I’ve done a lot of
experimenting,” he says. Through that he discovered the use of “sap ladders” which can lift sap 8 to 10 feet uphill in vacuum systems.
He worked to develop a stainless steel circular filter system that can be reused or easily replaced. He now offers these for sale.

For the full story by Keith Roulston click here...

Uncle Richard's has been featured in Creemore 100 Mile Store's newsletter, click to read the article and a recipe.

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