September, 2011 incorporated as an LLC
What was your light bulb moment?
March 17, 2012 - Participated in Sugarbush Ski Resort Sugaring Festival with 7000 skier visits and crowds enjoying maple sampling
Date launched product on stores shelves - May 2012
Products and Brief Descriptions
Tonewood's gourmet maple offerings include pure single-sourced syrups in four grades as well as a variety of pure maple products in solid form. See Product Details at the end of this article.
The Inspiration For Starting Your Business
The hardworking 6th & 8th generation sugarmakers who are my Vermont neighbours and who share a culture and history of sugarmaking that makes Vermont such a special part of the world.
A Short Description of Your Business
The Journey From Kitchen. What was the initial motivator that got the product out of the test facility, Kitchen or otherwise?
The pure taste of maple in all it's forms (liquid & solid) - is the motivator - it is just that - PURE, unadulterated, versatile and so flavorful.
To the Shelf - What Strategies and Tactics worked in achieving getting on the shelf? Where there mistakes you learned from that strengthened your Retail Trade shelf strategy?
Modern branding and packaging to reposition maple from the back woods to urban pantries. Offering a varied range of maple products in many forms helps to showcase its versatility. I'm learning everyday and probably make mistakes every day. It's a journey.
To the Consumers Plate - What Strategies and Tactics worked in getting initial customer trial? Where there mistakes you learned from that strengthened your consumer trial strategy?
The same strategies for getting on the shelf.
How did you make your business Scalable?
For example, what are the replicable processes or plans that allowed your business to get to your current size and are they the same or different going forward?
I'm still in the infancy stage. I'm sure there will be many processes and plans to create along the way as awareness and distribution of Tonewood is expanding.
Complete Product Listings for Tonewood
Four Grade Collection: the full range of color and flavor intensity available in maple syrups is on display in this collection of fancy, medium amber, dark amber, and grade B syrups.
Maple Wafers: crafted from pure maple syrup, these sophisticated gourmet wafers slowly dissolve in your mouth with a sweet burst of maple flavor.
Maple Cream: this sweet spread combines rich maple flavor with an irresistibly smooth texture and is a perfect spread over toast or crackers, or as a dessert frosting.
Maple Cube: this delicious, stylish, and versatile cube is made from pure maple syrup and is perfect for grating a touch of sweetness to your favorite food. Grate the cube over a cappuccino, yogurt, oatmeal, fruit, or ice cream.
Maple Flakes: providing a modern, way to enjoy traditional maple taste, Tonewood's maple flakes are the perfect crunchy and sweet garnish for salads, poultry, sweet potatoes, or deserts. Like maple sugar, maple flakes work as a low-calorie, natural sweetener in recipes and drinks.
Maple Seasoning: a unique blend of maple sugar, and spices creates an exciting taste for ham, chicken, fish, vegetables, soups, salads and eggs.
Cause Related Markeing - Maple Tree Adoption
In Tonewood's tree adoption program the adopter receives a series of three packages over the course of a year from the bounty of the adopted tree including a Four Grade Collection of syrup, Tonewood's Sweet Pairing of maple wafers and a maple cube, and an adoption certificate and photo of the tree.
Tonewood's maple tree adoption program provides financial support to family owned Vermont sugarbushes and to climate change research efforts at the Proctor Maple Research Center at the University of Vermont.
Maple tree adoptions are great for corporate gifting, unforgettable wedding gifts, and for the "person with everything."
Several examples of retailers where you are distributed?
Healthy Living - http://www.healthylivingmarket.com/
Artisans' Gallery - http://www.vtartisansgallery.com/
The Store - http://www.kitchenatthestore.com/history.html