SHELBURNE FALLS, Mass. (WWLP) – The Western Massachusetts maple sugar season got off to a rough start this year but one sugar house wasn’t letting it keep them down.
22News went to the Franklin county town of Shelburne Falls on Sunday. That’s where people from all over New England stopped off at Maple Sugar landmark, Gould’s Sugar House, to indulge their sweet tooth and continue a time honored western Massachusetts tradition.
It’s been a family business for over fifty years. At Gould’s Sugar House in Shelburne, they’ve been serving up homemade maple syrup since the 1960’s.
There was a line out the door Sunday, packed with people waiting for hours just to get a taste. They say it’s all worth it.
Gary Braff of Greenfield told 22News, “It’s the atmosphere, it’s how nice it is, you go out, and you’re waiting for an hour but you meet friends or you make friends with people that are new.”
This year, the sugar house opened it’s doors on March 1st, but the sap for their maple syrup didn’t start flowing until just days ago. The past couple weeks have been warmer than usual, and it’s the colder weather that’s ideal for making maple syrup.
It actually takes anywhere from 40-50 gallons of sap just to make one gallon of maple syrup. Once it’s extracted, it goes into a wood fired evaporator and then gets turned into maple syrup. It’s a long process, but customers say it’s nothing like what you get on the shelf.
“No comparison. This is homemade and it’s natural and I would never use the stuff at home we always buy jugs from here and bring it back to Connecticut,” said John Hanifin of Bristol, CT.
The owner of the shop says John Hanifin along with countless others have been coming around for decades.
“This is a tradition for many, many families, they all get together. I guess it’s my dream to keep it going,” said Helen Gould.
A once small family farm has boomed into a growing business, with what most in western Massachusetts agree is some of the best maple syrup around.