How it all began...Welcome to our website, we would like to introduce ourselves as Rich and Patti Mears, owners of Mears Vermont Products. For over 20 years we ran a small family retail store in Arlington, VT. called The Sugar Shack. We also made our own pure Vermont Maple syrup. In the store, we specialized in selling our maple syrup along with other quality Vermont food products, souvenirs, and Vermont based clothing. What started out in Rich's mothers garage, ended up as a retail store, restaurant, and Norman Rockwell exhibit after 3 or 4 additions. Each of our three children grew up and worked for us either in store, or making the syrup. Although they are all grown up and out on their own now, they still return for many of the same products they learned to love as children. Even our 2 grandchildren love to visit and sample our syrup, jams and cheeses.
Over the years we met many amazing people who returned year after year for our own maple syrup and other Vermont products. In 2012 we decided it was time to sell the retail business and set out on a new adventure. We formed a new wholesale business, Mears Vermont Products, in hopes of being able to wholesale some of the products we found to be our tried and true best sellers for 20 years.
Therefore we knew we had a start with out own Vermont maple syrup. We also added Paul Fontas to our team to help expand sales in the Boston and Eastern Massachusetts areas.
Although we sold the Sugar Shack, the new owners continue to make some of the best syrup in the state. Shortly after buying the store, the owners, Craig, Ed and Kim, invested in a brand new state of the art evaporator to ensure they could continue to provide quality pure Vermont maple syrup to anyone that wanted some. Ed's wife Kim runs the store and continues to sell many quality Vermont food products but pure Vermont maple syrup is by far their number one seller. They always have plenty of the four grades of syrup, fancy, a medium amber, a dark amber and B, available in containers of all sizes.
We also had great success selling Sidehill Farm products. Originally from Calais, VT, the original owners, Dot and Ben Naylor began using old family recipes to produce jams for family and friends in the 1970's. They used fresh fruits an no pectins or artificial ingredients in their handmade and hand stirred jams. They soon found themselves making it for specialty food shops throughout Vermont. We remember them arriving at our home late Friday nights after traveling the length of the state after school got out. in 2000, Dot and Ben passed their business onto their son Kelt and his wife Kristina. This allowed Kelt to move back to his roots in Vermont from a high tech manufacturing job in the Boston area.
Kelt and Kristina with help from their children have expanded the business and moved it from Calais to Brattleboro, VT. Their line now consists of over 18 jams including the old time favorites such as blueberry, raspberry, and strawberry rhubarb. In addition to some of my personal favorites such as cinnamon pear, and hot red pepper jelly. They also produce fruit butters and fruit pastes along with Lemon Curd and a truly amazing line of Vermont maple drizzles. (Apple, blueberry and cranberry.) The maple apple drizzle is like eating apple pie out of a jar and is amazing on everything from ice cream to pancakes. All of their products still have that homemade taste because of the personal attention and care given to each batch that is made. You won't be disappointed.
Our third main supplier at the present time is D&D Sugarwoods Farm in Glover, VT. Which supplies us with our maple candy. Candy making is a delicate art and we have found that Denise at Sugarwoods takes pride in her work. They use 100% pure maple syrup and no additives or preservatives. It is very important to us to ensure that products are as natural as possible with no additives or chemicals. So many candies out there are a blend of maple syrup and cane syrups to reduce the costs, but ours are 100% pure maple syrup.
The three businesses above are the three we are starting with, although there is always a possibility of expanding to other products. We want to be sure the products are of high quality and so far each of the three businesses are relatively small and family owned. We believe this helps to keep the high quality and also helps to support small Vermont farms and businesses. It is many of these small farms and stores that help families survive in rural areas.