To Market Pantry: Tonewood
Mad River Valley, Vermont
Did you know it takes a new maple tree about 40 to 50 years to be able to produce maple syrup? And that it takes about 40 gallons of sap tapped from that tree to produce one gallon of syrup? So consider what it means that each elegant Tonewood Maple Cube, made by Vermont artisan candy makers, contains a full pint of maple syrup, hardened and molded into a solid two-inch block. The blocks are made for shaving (not pouring) onto drinks, ice cream or wherever you might use a sprinkled sweetener.
Using single-source maple syrup from (often) multi-generational sugar makers in Vermont, Tonewood creates handmade maple products that are as lovely to look at as they are fun to use. But preserving the culture and history of small-scale maple farming is what the 4-year-old company is all about. The founder, Dori Ross, grew up in a maple-tree-tapping family and developed an abiding respect for the woods, the trees and the farmers who care for them.
“They are in the woods 12 months a year, managing their trees, stewarding the land, really caring for those trees,” Ross says. Imitation syrups, large producers of blended syrups and climate change all work against the artisan producer. In response, Tonewood donates 1% of all sales to climate change research. Additionally, the Tonewood adoption program (donate about $175 and adopt a Vermont maple tree farmer for a year in exchange for an assortment of that farm’s maple products) offers small-scale maple syrup producers some added financial security. For, as Ross says, “There is no off-season for sugar makers.”
In addition to the Maple Cube, Tonewood makes Maple Wafers, Maple Flakes, Maple Cream and of course Maple Syrup, sold in classy 16- and 8-ounce glass bottles.