SHARPSVILLE — In an unassuming building along Ivanhoe Road, visitors stepped out of the cold, snowy Sunday afternoon air and into a room where machinery boiled syrup — the first stop in a tour of Coryea’s Maple Products.
When boiling the water out of sap, it usually takes about 40 to 70 gallons of sap to produce one gallon of syrup. The Coryea family receives sap both from their own trees and from local residents, Haleigh Coryea said.
At another stop on their tour, the Coryeas had samples of different flavors available, from coffee maple syrup and cinnamon maple syrup to BBQ maple syrup. While parents seemed to love the coffee flavor, children seemed to enjoy the cinnamon flavor, which was similar in taste to French toast.
The many steps that go into making syrup, along with the family’s history and some of the many different products they have available, were some of the reasons the family business hosted its first tours of the facility Saturday and Sunday.
“Saturday we had about 100 people and today we’ve had about 300 people so far,” Haleigh said as of Sunday afternoon.
The business got its start when Haleigh’s grandfather, Don Coryea, started helping a neighbor produce syrup when he was 25. The Coryea family purchased their first maple syrup equipment in 1987 and the business has remained in the family ever since, according to promotional material.
Haleigh, among the third generation of the Coryea family, said she remembered growing up learning how to make syrup. Her father would start working on syrup when she left for school and it was still cooking late into the evenings.
Other times, the family would all get together and collect sap with buckets from their various trees, before vacuum and gravity lines replaced such collection methods. However, even though they all have day jobs, Haleigh said, the family remains heavily involved in the business.
“It’s what we grew up doing. I couldn’t imagine not doing it,” Haleigh said.
There have been some challenges to the family business, from difficulty getting bottles to increased shipping costs. However, the family started an online presence due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which helped continue sales and reach new customers. and the family’s products are available at multiple local retailers.
The weekend tours also drew a positive response from visitors. Haleigh said she expected the tours would become an annual event at the business.
“This is definitely something we’re looking to do year after year,” she said.
More information on the business’ products and participation in future events can be found at www.coryeamapleproducts.com, or the “Coryea’s Maple Products” Facebook page.
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