Partying with maple: pancake mix and maple cream vodka are part of the reinvention of a sugar bush
OTTAWA – Almonte has long been known as âThe Friendly Cityâ. This is the sign on the water tower.
Long before Almonte became the backdrop for many American Hallmark holiday movies, the magic of Christmas was alive and well throughout the year.
Neighbors help neighbors. Small businesses support each other.
This year, that’s especially true. Just ask the owners of Fulton’s Pancake House and Maple Grove.
Fulton’s is located between Almonte and Pakenham, two special valley towns where people take care of each other.
On the charming and sprawling 400-acre sugar bush of Pakenham’s Cedar Hill, maple trees provide the harvest, the family the workforce, and each spring, patrons flock to the lot as fast as ‘fresh water’ goes. flows into the maple buckets.
This has been Fulton’s delicious routine for generations.
This year, everything stopped because of the pandemic.
âI think it was the suddenness that caught us all by surprise,â says Shirley Deugo-Fulton, fourth generation of the family syrup business.
This spring, a syrup production record was broken by COVID-19, also pushing customers away from Fulton and other small rural businesses.
The season, and all the big plans, were lost, and independent employers had to scramble to save part of the season.
âWe had to pivot very quickly to serve our customers outside. We had trays of our products outside so they could park in their cars. We kind of had a drive-thru in March, âsays a thoughtful Deugo-Fulton.
âI was here everyday just to meet my clients. The saddest part was when people said, especially on Easter weekend, that they would normally come with 30 or 40 family members, on their Easter Sunday for dinner. They were so sad, and I would say please don’t cry because I will cry too.
There was time for tears, and also for action.
As another holiday draws near, Deugo-Fulton, his children and grandchildren, the fifth and sixth generation of syrup producers, have sweet ideas for reaching and feeding other families, while strengthening their business. family.
Necessity is the mother of invention, and, let’s face it, during a pandemic pancakes count as necessity!
If people couldn’t come to the creperie, the family found a way to bring the pancakes to customers’ kitchens.
âMy son-in-law, Grant, who, along with my daughter, Pamela, owns Cedar Hill Christmas Tree Farm, just down the street. He is an organic farmer and he has planted the most exquisite crop of beautiful wheat that is truly low in gluten, âsaid Deugo-Fulton.
“I told Grant do you have a lot because I would love to try the pancake mix.” It’s very low in gluten so we did a few experiments, we have a pancake mix so delicious you can taste Cedar Hill soil and taste the sun. It’s so fresh from the field this year.
âMy son Scott said that with so many people working from home, we should pack a ‘breakfast set’ (a kit with pancake mix, maple syrup, maple coffee, etc. .) so that people can “have breakfast together, apart”. “
âIt’s taken. Several companies and organizations purchased the packs as Christmas gifts for staff. “
The price of breakfast sets ranges from $ 45 to $ 65.
Like so many other companies, Fulton’s relies on online ordering and has a great pickup system as well.
Maple flavored vodkow
While not meant to be served as part of breakfast (but be aware that no one is judgmental), Fulton’s maple syrup is a key ingredient in the Dairy DistilleryThe new Vodkow Vodka maple cream liqueur.
The Almonte-based distillery partnered with Fulton’s and launched the product last spring.
Along with vodka, the distillery also specializes in the “spirit” of generosity. At the start of the pandemic, they shifted their production to hand sanitizer.
The Dairy Distillery team insisted that the spring profits of Vodka Maple Cream Liquor be donated to Fulton’s, since the sugar bush has lost its season. (Deugo-Fulton gave this gift to another small family business.)
Dairy Distillery aims to support the locals.
âInnovation is at the heart of what we do. So too is a deep desire to defend our community and the environment. We’ve combined homemade distillation techniques with cutting edge science to turn unused milk sugar into an incredibly smooth, clean alcohol, âsays Dairy Distillery. âIn doing so, we create new opportunities for dairy farmers while reducing waste. We make good spirits that do good.
This holiday season, you can raise a glass of local vodka cream with maple syrup.
And, says Deugo-Fulton, there are other flavors also featuring other local businesses.
You can even buy charming bottle gift wraps in a milk carton called âThe Almonte Friendship Seriesâ.
âAlmonte is really the city friendly. When we took root here, we were touched by the support from residents and local businesses, âsaid Deugo-Fulton.
âWe have been adopted by local manufacturers like Equator Coffee, Hummingbird Chocolate and Fulton’s Maple Syrup. To celebrate these friendships we have created the “Almonte Friendship Series” “
This is a collection of four 250ml bottles of Vodkow Cream liqueur, each containing world-class products from the region.
Priced at $ 45, the Vodkow Cream liquor pack can be purchased for delivery or direct from the Dairy Distillery.