You might find us very sweet
Mike’s passion for maple syrup began in 1997 when he helped out a friend and local producer with his operation. It was not long before Mike knew he wanted to have his very own maple syrup operation. Plans to open were delayed as a result of the Great Ice Storm of 1998, but in 1999, the Lamoureux family tapped its first 150 trees and by 2001, construction of the Cassburn Sweets ‘sugar shack’ was completed.
“I love the outdoors. Maple syrup brings me outside for my favorite time of the year. It goes without saying that I am proud to be Canadian. What could be more Canadian than maple syrup?” says Michel Lamoureux.
Just a 60-minute drive from either Ottawa or Montreal, Cassburn Sweets is located on a beautiful rural property just minutes away from Vankleek Hill’s historic Main Street. The Lamoureux family has been tapping trees on their property and making maple syrup and maple products since 1999. Every spring, more than 4,000 trees are tapped on the family’s 40 acres.
While the business is growing, so, too are the objectives of Cassburn Sweets.
Sustainable practices are important to Michel and Lucie Lamoureux.
Their evaporator which heats the sap, burns wood, which is a 100% renewable resource. The evaporator captures all of the unburned wood gases, injects and mixes oxygen to the wood gases, to insure complete combustion, so that it burns 98% clean, says Michel.
And all of the water generated by the reverse osmosis and evaporation process is captured and used for other purposes.
“We are passionate about producing maple syrup but we are also passionate about our environment and running a sustainable operation,” says Michel.
And let’s talk about the maple trees. Michel and Lucie want their stand of maple trees to stay healthy for the next century, to serve their family’s future generations. “We are simply stewards of this stand of maple trees and this land,” Mike explains.
“We use smaller taps and to make sure that the tree has a chance to heal after tapping,” said Mike, who says that they make their own pipeline “drops” or extensions to the main pipeline, to enable tapping all around the tree to ensure the health of the tree.
“We want our trees around for a long time and to have a healthy canopy and healthy roots. We care for our trees because we care about them,” says Mike.
Time is really important when it comes to maple syrup production. There is only a six to eight-week time period when the sap flows each year and that is when everyone lends a hand to ensure that all of the work gets done at the right time.
But timing is also important when it comes to boiling maple sap. The time that the sap spends in the evaporator is all-important and knowledge of the craft, set producers like Cassburn Sweets apart from the rest. “The real art to making delicious maple syrup is knowing when to draw that syrup,” says Mike.
Welcoming visitors to their operation to provide educational tours happens regularly during the prime season. Contact us to inquire »
The Lamoureux family is always looking to the future and in recent years, as the popularity of their maple syrup has grown, so has the demand for their delicious maple butter and maple candies. A gift shop at the farm is among future projects… and Cassburn Sweets is taking steps towards organic certification, so watch for that soon!