The third Milk Money campaign giving Vermonters the opportunity to discover and invest in local businesses, is live! And boy is it Vermonty!
When Kate and Justin McCabe moved their family to a house on 10 acres of trees - including maple - in Montpelier, they decided to try our hands at sugaring. They figured that with two small children, they went through a good amount of syrup, and needed an excuse to get outside when the winter sporting season had passed anyway. So they bought some buckets and spiles, read a book, and like so many before them, just went for it.
The first two years were not ideal. After rejecting the idea of an indoor boil, Kate and Justin decided to use the Thanksgiving Turkey's broiling pan on the propane grill. It took forever, and they spent as much or more in propane as they would have just buying the syrup outright, which was pretty depressing. During year two, they rested and homebrewed a batch of porter with our maple sap instead. That was less depressing, but didn’t result in quite as much outdoor time or offset the kids’ syrup requirements, either.
By year three, Kate and Justin were ready to try, try again, so they put in their twenty-five taps early in the new year. Justin looked everywhere for a backyard sap evaporator that didn’t cost a fortune, didn’t necessitate the construction of a sap house, and could be moved around when not in use, but ultimately came up empty. So he invented one and tested several versions before settling on a final design. Then, for a kick, Justin manufactured a dozen in the family garage. As it turned out, these first units all sold in less than two weeks to some very happy and satisfied customers all over New England and beyond! The Vermont Evaporator Company, and its Sapling, were born!
The Vermont Evaporator Company, LLC, located in Montpelier, Vermont, is a family-owned startup that manufactures small, home-scale sap evaporation units for the backyard sugaring enthusiast that are easy to use and available at a price point well below the industrial products on the market today. As an initial offering, VEC has developed the Sapling, a wood-fired barrel evaporator made from a retrofitted 55 gallon drum and a baffled stainless steel evaporating tray priced for the household at $795. Not just an evaporator, the Sapling doubles as a wood-fired grill in the off-season, and the development of an accessory package that will turn the unit into a smoker is underway!
Vermonters who want to learn more about the Vermont Evaporator Company opportunity can find investment details on the Milk Money website (www.MilkMoneyVT.com). The registration process is quick and easy for any adult with a Vermont driver's license.
Milk Money offers the opportunity for true “impact investing” since a dollar invested in a local business generates potential financial return as well as tangible social return on investment. By investing in a local business such as Vermont Evaporator Company, you will create new jobs and circulate wealth and build a stronger community that fosters new relationships between businesses and community members. The Milk Money platform serves as a meeting place for Vermonters to discover local investment opportunities such as Vermont Evaporator Company.
On Teaspoon of Sugar, we write about maple sugaring, maple syrup, starting and running a small business, and living the sweet life here in beautiful, downtown Montpelier, Vermont.