We are a father and son owned small business. We produce pure Vermont maple syrup from around 30,000 trees on our land in Underhill, VT. We take great pride in the quality of our maple syrup.
We have received numerous awards at the Champlain Valley fair. Most recently in 2009 we won two 1st place awards for our Fancy and Medium Amber syrup at Vermont’s largest agricultural fair.
The Early Days of Maple Syrup Making
As long as I can remember I have been by my fathers side in the sugarwoods or sugarhouse. If we were not sugaring, we were hunting or fishing with family. I remember being dragged in to the sugarwoods in the middle of winter and thinking I will never do this when I grow up, well priorities definitely change as you grow up. I left Vermont to attend University of Maine to where I earned a Bachelors degree in Business Administration and also played soccer for the University.
After college I stayed in Maine and joined the business world in the form of a sales rep for Pepsi, in one year I became a Sales Manager and had great success. However I realized that this was not the lifestyle I wanted and missed Vermont. The idea of being able to spend days working in the outdoors and working for myself was what I decided to make a reality. I also had a solid background in business and technology and felt I could be a great asset to my father who is a very accomplished sugarmaker, but not so in terms of marketing and technology. This is when I partnered with my father Dick and jumped in to the sugaring business. We make a great team! I also manage the USA branch of Dominion & Grimm, a manufacturer of maple sugaring equipment. I spend my work days either selling maple equipment, or in our own sugarhouse. Outside of work I can be found in the outdoors skiing, fishing, hunting, and traveling.
Growing Tap Count
Dick Wilcox was born on a farm in Milton, VT. His father tapped 3000 maple trees on buckets, and as the youngest son, my job was to collect the buckets with a team of horses. His fathers sugarhouse was a mile in to the woods and it was a long walk back in the dark. The maple sugaring gave his father a source of income in the spring time. From that point on sugaring was in his veins, as it is in his two sons. Dick was able to start sugaring on my own after his first son Ben was born. From then on he have steadily increased his output, and with the addition of my oldest son Ben, and help from youngest son Chris, we are now embracing new technology, and tapping more trees, and making more syrup per tree than ever.
Sugaring has come a long way since Dick was a child. Additionally, he was a produce manager for more than 20 years and recently was able to retire and work for our company full time. In the off season he bottles and deliver's syrup while maintaining and adding new sap lines. He have served on the board Chittenden County Maple Sugarmakers Association, and Amber Ridge Maple is a member of the Vermont Maple Sugarmakers Association.