Toronto baker overwhelmed by demand for 4L maple syrup containers
When a Toronto baker offered to hook people in Toronto up with 4L jugs from her wholesale maple syrup source, she expected to get about 12 to 20 responses taking her up on her offer.
Lesley Mattina of OMG Baked Goodness wound up receiving over 200 responses to the offer, telling blogTO she "just kept scrolling" through messages and calling the response "absolutely unbelievable."
OMG uses lots of maple syrup in their baking, often as an alternative to corn syrup, and has always brought syrup back to the city for themselves, their clients and restaurants. The most they've ever picked up at a time was 30 jugs.
Mattina says they "prefer to support independent farmers as opposed to buying from a massive supplier," and that at the Amish farm near Guelph where they get their maple syrup from, the "farmer's sales have been impacted obviously by what's been happening in the world, and he ran into a situation where he had this massive supply he'd normally be able to sell."
Mattina describes the Amish farmer as humble, quiet and proud, and feels it took a lot for him to reach out to her for help putting up an ad as he didn't know how else to sell the syrup.
She reached out to her usual people and put out an offer on social media expecting to get a handful of responses. Mattina ended up having to ask the farmer what he thought he could handle.
His response was: "Whatever you do, don't say no." Mattina says she's "now helping get through the supply of other friends, family and neighbours" and "helping more people than I ever thought."
"COVID has changed the world in so many ways. Once upon a time we'd eat breakfast at home two days a week. Eating habits have really changed, we're eating almost all meals at home now and ingredients can make things a little special," says Mattina.
She calls maple syrup a "feel good ingredient" and says that not only is it more normal to buy things in bulk now, but that people are using it for more purposes, saying it traverses meals, makes a good replacement for sugar and is "very Canadian." She also says lots of people buy a jug to split up and share with others.
"I never anticipated any of this, it's way beyond what I thought. It's kind of become a bit of a full-time job, what was going to be a feel good quick little thing," says Mattina, who's currently still operating the bakery. She said it's encouraging that it seems "people really want to know where their food comes from."
They're picking up their first order next week. The maple syrup will be available on their website for $64.99 for four litres of grade-A dark Ontario maple syrup.
"Once I see what my order looks like and how much capacity we have, we can take it from there in terms of what we can do and talk to the farmer again," says Mattina. She added that she needs to figure out more details to make the operation go smoothly, but that they "plan to do it as long as it's working well for everyone."
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