Business Name: The Canadian Birch Company Website: canadianbirchcompany.com Established: 2010
Can you please fully explain your business or product line?
The Canadian Birch Company has been making premium birch syrup since 2012. Birch has BIG flavour. There is no other way to describe the luscious, compelling taste of Birch. It is sweet, but not overly so. It is fruity, but yet toffee-like. It has overtones of molasses & brown sugar, undertones of citrus and, in the amber and dark, a tangy finish that is not unlike a balsamic reduction. Think sweet and sour and how compelling that is in terms of leaving your palette wanting more. This is the magic of Birch!
The process begins weeks before the sap flows. Lines need to be repaired and cleaned, new trees are added to the system and equipment is prepared for the new season. When the sap starts flowing the race to tap the trees is on. Within 2 or 3 days the first syrup is made. This exciting (and exhausting) time of year is only the beginning.
Once the syrup is made, filtered and packaged, production for the Sweet and Sociable line starts up. The incredibly multi-dimensional birch flavour adds layers of taste to all kinds of foods like Birch Bacon Jam. This delightful condiment is delicious on burgers and sandwiches, cheese, potatoes and perogies. The Birch Whiskey Toffee Sauce, aka Heaven in a Jar by customers, elevates ice-cream and apple slices to a whole new level. The unique flavour of Birch Q sauce makes fabulous ribs and chicken wings, amazing pork roasts or chops and much more. The newest addition – Birch for Breakfast Syrups, original or seasonal flavours, have a deep, complex and sweet taste perfect for pancakes, oatmeal, coffee and much more.
With the local maker community continuing to grow, what makes you stand out from the rest?
The Canadian Birch Company syrups are unique, the flavours unmatched, and the Sweet and Sociable line of products are made with high quality, real ingredients.
What made you realize that you had a product that could be shared with others?
In searching for a sustainable use for our beautiful birch forest, we came across the idea of birch syrup. After much research and experimentation, we launched this new and incredible (ad)venture with the conviction that we could make a light-tasting gold birch syrup.
What has been your biggest success as a maker? Biggest struggle you’ve overcome?
A decade-long tenure as producers of premium Birch Syrup has been marked by accomplishments such as top medals in food competitions, The Great Manitoba Food Fight (2013), Product of the Year Canada (2015), and The Manitoba Taste Awards (2015). Other “firsts” include being the first Canadian Birch Syrup producer to come to market. In 2017, Food and Beverage Manitoba recognized these accomplishments (of the Canadian Birch Company) with the Harvest of Excellence Innovation Award.
One of the biggest and ongoing struggles of coming up with a new and unknown product is getting it out there and educating the consumer on its qualities.
But there have been other challenges, such as the year where much of the sap spoiled due to high seasonal temperatures causing multiple pails to turn solid with an over-concentration of what the industry calls “sugar sand”. Or the year where the usual 3 week season was over in 10 days. Then there were the years where high winds felled so many trees that most of the 500+ lines had to be mended in the dead cold of the Manitoba winter in order to save the sapping season.
Any advice that you would tell someone hoping to start up their own business or product line?
To anyone hoping to start their own business or product line – spend time researching, planning and organizing but realize that research is ongoing, plans change and things will need to get reorganized. Passion, creativity, resourcefulness, innovation and plain old perseverance are the qualities needed to meet the inevitable challenges you will face.
Please share any upcoming events (physical events, virtual sales, etc.) that you think Winnipeggers would be interested in!
The Canadian Birch Company is proud to be a vendor in the One of a Kind Virtual Show. Although One of a Kind is normally held in Toronto, this year it is available to customers across the country!
Check out our website for physical locations to purchase our products and to buy them online.