Acadian Maple Products is a family owned and operated business located in Upper Tantallon. Involved in the maple industry in Nova Scotia for over 30 years, Acadian Maple is the largest purchaser and processor of Nova Scotia produced maple syrup. Exporting to markets worldwide, and constantly developing new products, Acadian Maple continues to grow with their agri-tourism center and retail shop seeing in excess of 30,000 visitors a year.
We asked William Allaway, Owner of Acadian Maple, to reflect on his business.
What inspired you to start your business? Acadian Maple started as a hobby back in 1986 by my parents, who were making maple syrup out of our home and selling it to local gift shops. The business was originally a seasonal operation, as both my mom and dad were teachers. My father taught me and my sister how to make maple syrup, and we would help out during summer breaks from school. When I graduated from university, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do – so I decided to take over the family business. We bought a piece of land, and started scaling our production. In 2002 we converted from producing to processing, and in 2007 we had two facilities in Wentworth and Tantallon.
What has been the most exciting thing you have experienced to date since starting your business? Our business has given us the opportunity to meet some very interesting people in the food industry, and we have built incredible relationships over the years. What started in our two car garage, has grown into a global export company with a large production facility, agri-tourism operation and gift shop. We work with small producers to help them process and sell to larger global chains in Canada, the US and Europe. When I look back on our growth over the years, it appears to have happened strategically and in sequence. We have certainly experienced roadblocks and setbacks, but we have become very good at quickly pivoting and course correcting. For any business, it’s important to be nimble and remain focused on what you do best.
What can we expect to see next? Admittedly over the last few years we started to stray from what we do best. We had to learn how to say no, as saying yes to everything can have damaging effects. Last year, we started pulling it back to our core business – which is maple, confection, jams and jellies. We have exciting new products in our R&D pipeline, and some great collaborations coming up.
It was really great to chat with William, and learn how he has infused innovation into a typically more traditional business. He stressed the importance of remaining true to your core business, while creating opportunities within it. Acadian Maple is further proof that we can operate a globally competitive business, right here in Nova Scotia.