Erich explaining the sugaring process at Maple Weekend

Erich explaining the sugaring process at Maple Weekend

Sugar Oak Farms is a small father-son maple syrup business located in Malta, NY. We began in 2008 thanks to the book “Backyard Sugarin’” by Rink Mann. Our first evaporator was cut from a 55-gallon drum under a tarp but we quickly purchased a 2’x3’ evaporator and built a small sugarhouse. That suited us for a few years, but soon that too was not big enough. In 2014 we upgraded the pan on the evaporator to a more efficient version and built a larger sugarhouse. In 2017, we added a small store to our sugarhouse but that proved to be too difficult to have both the store and the syrup production occurring in the same place. So, in 2018, we built a much larger sugarhouse, purchased a 3’x8’ evaporator, and converted the old sugarhouse fully to a store.


It was about that time that we began experimenting with how to use maple syrup beyond liquid form, and we soon began making our own maple confections. We began with maple sugar candies, and it was nearly a year later before we began trying to make maple sugar, but after several attempts we got it just right! We also began making maple jelly in 2018, as well as maple-coated peanuts, which are one of our best selling items! The business is operated jointly by Erich and Paul, who each contributes their expertise to the business. Erich is a graduate of the CIA and consequently a chef by trade though he now drives a school bus. This allows time to operate the business (and have summers free!). His official title is “Sap Commander.” Paul is a business student at Siena College where he finds he is able to directly apply what he is learning towards the operation of the business.

At Maple Weekend, a yearly statewide open house on two weekends in March, you will likely find Erich in the sugarhouse talking about the maple sugaring process while Paul manages the store. While what started as a hobby has now turned into a small business that grows every year, Sugar Oak Farms prides itself on maintaining stringent standards of quality and offering the highest quality maple syrup possible.