Robert Staples can trace his love of syrup back to his childhood and helping his father. At the age of 10 he convinced father to let him tap the trees along the driveway and so his maple career began. The Staples family can trace their maple syrup heritage back 200 years and seven generations. Robert is now passing his skills onto his son Mark, wife Stacie and granddaughters Emily and Scarlett, daughter Meghan, partner Kyle and grandson Henry.
A former dairy farmer, the cows were dispersed in 1998 and the maple business began to grow. Replacing buckets with lines on vacuum was done in the early ’80s, upgrading from wood fire to an oil fired evaporator and adding an RO machine removing some of the water from the sap and saving energy, allowing them to expand to 3,600 taps. Robert, his wife Jill and extended family are all involved during the busy syrup season.
Robert’s exceptional attention to detail has led to four World Championship Awards at the Royal Winter Fair in ’96, ’01. ’04, ’07, as well as the Corbett Trophy, Premiere Exhibitor and Reserve Champion. In 2012 he won the President’s Award for most points in all categories. Robert was honoured to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the OMSPA in 2016 and was very proud to receive a Canada 150 award.
Loyal to his customers, he once turned down an offer to supply his maple syrup to Japan during the Olympic Games as it would have depleted his supply. Robert and his wife Jill are vendors at the Peterborough Saturday Farmers’ Market where Robert has been a vendor for 45 years and more recently a vendor at the Oshawa market. Their syrup is also available at the farm gate, Canoe Museum, local stores and served at some local restaurants.
The Staples facility is inspected yearly by CFIA, where samples are taken to ensure there are no contaminants such as lead as well as having completed the provincial food safety and traceability program to ensure the best quality syrup for their customers.
Wear warm clothes and boots, walk through the woods, taste warm syrup and enjoy sweet treats to enjoy the first crop of the season.
Hours: Sunday only