Our Story

Loch’s Maple: From Past to Present

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 than 40 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 and 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 "piggyback" 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.

In 2014

A new evaporator was purchased 3.5 ft X 14 ft wood pellet fired, more energy-efficient replacing both the 3 X 10 and 4 x 12 evaporators. We were at around 9000 taps. For the 2021 season, a 2nd evaporator is being installed again this will be a 3 ft x 10 ft deluxe oil fired.

The reason for this change is we are working on becoming organic certified. Not all of our woods will be organic, therefore the wood pellet evaporator will process organic syrup and the oil-fired will be non-organic syrup. We will be at about 14000 taps for the 2021 season. 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 family and friends, the tapping of the trees gets underway. Along with selling maple products, Randy and Jamie are also dealers for Maple Sugaring Equipment such as CDL, Lapierre USASugarhill Containers, and Marcland Draw off systems.

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. In 2018, Loch’s Maple had a new concession trailer built as they had outgrown the one they built.

Since 1995, Randy and Jamie have been members of the Endless Mountains Maple Producers association. Seeing the need to increase the public awareness of Pennsylvania maple syrup, Randy has become a delegate to the PA State Maple Counsel and has served as President and Vice President of both the Local and State levels. Jamie has also been active in the promotion of Pennsylvania Maple. She managed a sales booth for the state Maple counsel at the farm show in Harrisburg, PA and she served as the coordinator for the Endless Mountains Maple Queen Program and the Pennsylvania State Maple Sweetheart Program for over 10 years. The Pennsylvania Maple Sweetheart is equivalent to The Pennsylvania Dairy Princess, only for maple!