Success in Annapolis Valley: Hutchinson's Maple Products
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Hutchinson’s Maple Products is one of eleven companies that will be recognized for their export success at the upcoming Nova Scotia Export Achievement Awards on Wednesday, June 14, at Pier 21 in Halifax.
Located in Lake Paul, Nova Scotia, Hutchinson’s Maple Products is home to Christmas trees, blueberries and, of course, many maple groves. With over 60,000 taps currently in the farm’s sugar bush, the company hopes to expand to 100,000 taps within five years.
We spoke with Leanne Dobrota, Marketing Manager for Hutchinson’s Maple Products to learn more about their business and export journey.
What would you say has contributed to your success?
For us, success has been a combination of hard work, with a drive to succeed, and loyal, hardworking staff that we can count on every day.
What will be important to your success going forward?
Being able to adapt at every turn. We have learned that you can work with the most knowledgeable professionals in the industry, but ultimately it’s your consumer who will dictate your success. We continue to work at the store level educating the consumer and retailer about our products which gives us a chance to listen to consumers and find out what’s working and what’s not.
What has been your biggest learning moment?
Our biggest AHA moment came when we received a large order from Sobeys Ontario. We were able to fill the order, but just barely, it used every bottle and cork we had in stock. The problem being our bottle was imported from Italy and was not something we could access on short notice. This combined with several other factors was the beginning of a complete re-brand for our product, Pure Infused maple syrup.
What’s the best piece of advice you would give to new exporters, or companies considering exporting from Nova Scotia?
Establish a good business at home before you even think of exporting. Your home turf is the best place to launch your product, and there is something to be said for the loyalty that you receive in your home province. Mistakes are less costly when they happen at home.
How did you know exporting was right for your business?
We felt that we had saturated the market in Nova Scotia to where it made sense for us to expand our business into new territory. We had the infrastructure and resources in place to add new markets. In addition, we felt very fortunate to have had a background in LTL (less than truck load) trucking, therefore the logistics of getting our products from A to B in the most efficient and cost effective way came naturally.
What’s the best thing about being a Nova Scotia exporter?
When the time is right and we start to export to Europe, the port of Halifax is only one hour away. One of the advantages of shipping out of our province is that it’s not uncommon for trucks to leave Nova Scotia empty or partially full, therefore it’s less expensive to ship our goods from here versus another province.
And finally, what’s next for your business?
We would like to expand the amount of chain stores we are in. We are currently in Sobeys and Federated Coop and feel there is plenty of opportunity to build on this.
Interested in export? Nova Scotia Business Inc. is dedicated to supporting the growth of business in Nova Scotia and our team of Regional Business Development Advisors is available to assess your needs and provide practical advice on taking your next steps toward growth in global markets.
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