Nos Cabanes : to each territory its own maple syrupApril 3, 2017
Aspiring entrepreneurs often find their inspiration in the most common situations of everyday life. It was no different for Claudie Brassard, a marketing specialist who decided to start her own business and to carry out her own projects after many years of corporate work, just like many of her fellows.
It all started with a lakeside snowshoe hike for Nos Cabanes, a Quebec-based company specializing in the bottling of the best maple syrups across the province, and aiming to highlight their particularities. Bothered by the fact that maple syrup is a victim of homogenization, Claudie wishes to integrate the terroir concept to maple syrup production in order to promote this regional product and to provide it with the reputation it deserves.
From there stems the company’s mission to reveal the richness of maple syrup, while celebrating the variety of its colors and sources. "My job, is not only to bottle syrup, but first and foremost to bottle a story", says Claudie, who now ensures the project’s continuity on her own, after working alongside her former partner, Nicole Lapierre, to develop the brand.
Today, just a few months after its inception, Nos Cabanes offers its customers five varieties of maple syrup, each from a distinct territory that bears its own story. New partnerships are in the process of being finalized, which means the company’s product range is yet to grow.
We had the opportunity to meet one of Claudie's maple sugar producers, the one to whom we owe the flavoursome Ménard maple syrup, carefully produced in Fulford.
The work of a maple producer – the Ménard sugar bush
All whilst continuing his work as a general contractor, François Ménard purchased the family farm in Fulford back in 1996, where he now manages a sugar bush established over 100 years ago. Prior to Mr Ménard, the farm’s activities were not limited to maple syrup production, yielding an average of only thirty gallons of syrup per year. Today’s store shelves are filled with more than 10,000 gallons of maple syrup originating from Ménard sugar bush.
With nearly 28,000 taps, their equipment allows them to produce about 34 gallons per hour. Maple water is first collected in a recovery tank, before being treated in a water concentrator, which separates the unsweetened water from the sugar concentrate. The concentrate is then redirected to a large kettle, where a circuit allows the liquid to increasingly boil and thicken, which results in the flavourful and rich maple syrup we enjoy!
Maple sugar season has begun!
The unexpected late-February thaw triggered an early harvest for a lot of maple producers. Milder temperatures are now back for good and sugar shacks are officially opened for business. If you’re a fan of maple, we suggest you get your hands on the limited-edition package we’ve created in collaboration with Nos Cabanes, the Northern Sweet gift box! We also invite you to visit Nos Cabanes’ new website – it’ll definitely entice you to garnish all your recipes with a delicious maple syrup, and above all produced so close to home!