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October 27, 2010

Mapleside Sugar Bush Brings Home Two International Awards

Ray and Carol Anne Bonenberg, owners of Mapleside Sugar Bush in Rankin, won two awards at an International Maple Syrup Conference held in Stratford, Ontario last week.

The Bonenbergs were in Stratford for the annual North American Maple Council (NAMSC) conference October 20 to 23. It was actually a bit of an afterthought to enter some of their products in the conference competitions and they ended up coming home with two awards. Mapleside won first place overall for their maple butter and brought home a second place ribbon for their maple red pepper jelly.

winning awardsNAMSC is an international network of associations representing 16 maple producing U.S. states and Canadian provinces.

NAMSC president Rick Marsh, in presenting the awards to the Bonenbergs said, "Our association has been supporting value-added maple products as a way of broadening the appeal and use of maple syrup. Mapleside is making some excellent products. They have certainly earned these awards."

Carol Anne Bonenberg was quite excited about the awards.

"We entered three items in the competition, without any real expectation of winning," she explained. "It was our first time entering and we were up against producers from Canada and the U.S. So it was a thrill to do so well in two categories."

Ray Bonenberg says that maple products are experiencing a bit of an upswing in popularity with consumers right now.

"Maple has always been popular with a lot of people," he explained. "It's a great natural food that can be used in so many ways." But, Bonenberg said, recent research is also showing that maple syrup is very high in nutritional value, and that is making a difference for health-conscious consumers.

Maple is an excellent source of nutrients such as manganese, riboflavin and zinc. But it has also shown to contain active antioxidant elements, comparable to Gala red apples, broccoli and bananas.

"There was quite of bit of excitement at the conference with the new information coming out about the health qualities of maple products," Bonenberg said. "As a producer here in the Ottawa Valley, that just means people have another reason to use our product. It's good news."

Mapleside Sugar Bush, just off Highway 41 near Rankin is a popular source of local maple products. The Bonenbergs are regular vendors at the Taste of the Valley show, a popular stop on the Rural Ramble, and participate at various shows and events throughout the year.


Ray & Carol Anne Bonenberg
613 735 2366