Many types of trees grow in Pennsylvania's vast forests, but the sweetest tree of all is the sugar maple. It's the sap from this tree that has been used for more then 20 years to make Loch's pure maple syrup and Loch's other maple products.
In 1981 Randy Loch, along with his Father, decided to enter the maple syrup business. They began with just 50 buckets and boiled the sap over an open fire in a sap house made from construction scaffolding covered with a tarp. In the next few years an old grain building was skidded from 1/4 of a mile away and placed on the site now occupied by today's sap house. A 3 ft X10 ft evaporator was purchased and installed, and plastic tubing replaced the buckets.
In 1993 Randy & Jamie married and the business continued to expand. They decided it was time to put an addition on the sap house and give it a face-lift. Along with the building improvements, more taps were added leading to the need for a bigger evaporator. In 1994 a 4 ft X 12 ft evaporator was added to the sap house. In 1998 a "piggy back" pan was added to the 4 X 12 because, yes more taps were added! This increased the evaporating capabilities to over 300 gallons of water an hour. In 2001 a Reverse osmosis machine was added to the operation, which by now had expanded to 4000 taps connected by some 30 miles of tubing! Through all these changes, the original structure of the 100 year old grain building still stands, symbolizing Randy and Jamie’s love of preserving the old traditions of Pennsylvania life.
When Sap season comes in mid February the sap bug hits the neighborhood. With the help of Randy's family the tapping of the trees gets under way. It's not unusual for some of the neighbors to even show up in the woods to help during this very busy time!
If you are wondering what got The Lochs into this Maple Hobby gone Sweet: It is the pure love of the outdoors and the natural flavor of Pure Pennsylvania Maple syrup.
In 1996 Randy and Jamie Built a Concession Stand and started taking Syrup to a local fair. Loch's Maple now participates in four, one week long fairs and several small craft shows each summer.
Since 1995 Randy and Jamie have been Members of the Endless Mountains Maple Producers association. In the last two years, seeing the need to increase the public awareness of Pennsylvania maple syrup, Randy has become a delegate to the PA State Maple Counsel and Vice President of the Endless Mountains Maple Assoc.
Jamie is also active in the promotion of Pennsylvania Maple. She Manages a sales booth for the state Maple counsel at the Farm show in Harrisburg Pa and she serves as the coordinator for the Endless Mountains Maple Queen Program and the Pennsylvania State Maple Sweetheart Program. The Pennsylvania Maple Sweetheart is equivalent to The Pennsylvania Dairy Princess only of Maple!