Jim Myers, founder of Ridge Valley Farm, has been vending his syrup at farmers’ markets in eastern Pennsylvania for more than a decade, despite his business’s humble beginnings.
“To be honest with you, before I started fooling around with syrup, maple trees were, to me, just another tree,” Myers said. “If one was in the way I just took the chainsaw out and cut it down.”
Myers found that he had lots of maple trees on his Montgomery County property, so he started tapping trees and making a few gallons of maple syrup each year to give away to friends and family at Christmas. He quickly discovered that he had a real passion for producing the syrup.
“It was like an addiction, sort of like milking cows,” he joked. “You never seem to be milking enough.”
“There’s always one more cow out there to milk, and it’s the same way with trees,” Myers continued. “When the season was here I’d be looking for more trees, and I’d be tapping them.”
Fortunately, demand for Myers’ syrup kept up with his passion.
“It got to the point where the people that I would give it to would call me up and say ‘Hey Jim, we finished that syrup that you gave us, can I buy some from you?’” he said.
Without fully knowing what they were getting into, Myers and his wife, Sue, began selling their maple syrup in quart bottles. Shortly after, they began scoping out farmers’ markets at which to sell their syrup.
Thanks to Sue, the Myers’ also began selling value-added products along with their maple syrup, despite some initial hesitation from Jim.
“I said look, you’re gonna make all this stuff and we’re gonna end up having to eat it ourselves, because I just don’t think that stuff is gonna sell,” he said. “Well, she certainly proved me wrong, because I would say on any given day the gross amount that we bring in on syrup is one half, and the other half is stuff that Sue makes.”
Sue’s jellies and jams have become popular items at farmers’ markets. Myers said she is currently making plenty of strawberry and strawberry-rhubarb jams, because they are in season. She also makes peach, apricot and blueberry jams, as well as a black raspberry jelly.
Myers said his wife is constantly looking to add new products. Her latest additions are maple-infused pancake and cornbread mixes.
The Myers family also offers a variety of flavor-infused maple syrups, including blueberry, cinnamon and coffee.
Their syrup is available in the following quantities:
- Gallon $65
- Half gallon $35
- Quarts $20
- Pints $11.50
- Half pint $7.50
The Myers’ also offer maple cream, sugar, candy, granola, mustard, BBQ sauce, balsamic vinegar and more.
Myers said all of Ridge Valley Farm’s products and procedures are fully-compliant with U.S. Department of Agriculture regulations.
Jim and Sue typically make it to the Saucon Valley Farmers’ Market once a month, but they also vend locally at the Emmaus Farmers Market. Those interested in purchasing their products can also message the farm on Facebook.
Myers said individuals are also welcome to stop by the farm in person. It is located at 287 Camp Green Lane Road, Sumneytown, Pa. He asks that visitors call 215-234-9334 prior to visiting.