Maple Roch expands its market

A maple syrup company based in Summerland is expanding its market internationally.

Leanne Pawluk

Leanne Pawluk

A maple syrup company based in Summerland is expanding its market internationally.

Maple Roch has signed a deal with James Importers, a Japanese company.

Roch Fortin, owner of Maple Roch, said the agreement gives James Importers the exclusive rights to sell the maple products in Japan.

The deal was one year in the making.

“It’s an exciting position to be put in,” said Leanne Pawluk, vice-president of marketing and sales with Maple Roch.

In addition, Maple Roch will have its Saint Q line on display at the International Fancy Food Show in San Francisco later this month.

This is the largest gourmet food show in the world. More than 2,000 food and beverage producers will have their products at the show.

“We were very fortunate to be invited,” Fortin said.

The Saint Q brand was designed to elevate maple syrup in Canada.

“We wanted to create absolute perfection for an international audience,” Fortin said. “People are looking for a quality product.”

Pawluk expects 25,000 people, all large food buyers, to attend.

She added that there are 70 countries and hundreds of companies on the waiting list to get into the food show. Maple Roch was able to attend when a company from France cancelled.

The company’s display will not be with other Canadian food producers. Instead, Maple Roch will be with food products from Spain, France and Italy.

The two international opportunities mean significant growth for Maple Roch.

Pawluk said the company will be careful with what it delivers. Fortin said the company is trying to create as much employment as possible.

Maple Roch, formed in 2012, is one of only two maple syrup producers in western Canada. The company’s non-organic syrup is bottled in Summerland, while its organic syrup is bottled in New Brunswick.

“People in Summerland have been very supportive in the beginning and have helped to get us where we are right now,” Fortin said.