by Christine Pietryla Wetzler, editor
In this installment of “Keeping it Personal” I spoke to maple syrup producer, Eric Sorkin, who with his wife, Laura, own and operate Runamok Maple. The Vermont-based maple syrup producer sits on 250 acres in Fairfield, Vt. and 1,100 acres in Cambridge, Vt. and taps approximately 81,000 trees to produce its product.
Still proudly a boutique producer at heart—despite growing rapidly and recently being featured on Martha Stewart’s PBS show “Martha Bakes,” Runamok’s hometown culture is evident in all of its company information—from the recipes on its website that encourage you to think outside the box about using maple syrup—to its contemporary and updated packaging.
I found out more about their modern and well-received labels and packaging design that speak directly to the locality and specific nature of each product therein. Along with traditional, pure maple syrup, Runamok Maple also creates infused, smoked and barrel-aged maple syrup in a variety of flavors.
Eric and Laura moved to Vermont many years ago from Washington D.C. and spent eight years learning the sugaring industry. They noticed a hole in the market for specialty maple syrups. Eric explains, “Maple syrup was seen as a commodity in brown jugs. We wanted to use glass and create an aesthetic that conveyed some of the specialty and spirit we were hoping to achieve.”
At the launch of Runamok Maple in 2009, the Sorkins agreed that the packaging had to be eye-catching and represent the attention to detail that they put into the syrups.
They went to local vendors to try to find the right look and feel and eventually found Tessa Vande Griek of TVG Production, who helped them navigate through the creative development process and final production of the labels— indeed, Eric says, from start to finish.
“Tessa was the glue that held all of this together. At first, our packaging attempts were a bit scattershot but she got us where we needed to be,” says Eric.
The labels are printed locally on a clear BOPP gloss laminate, and each is designed with the modern, classic look the Sorkins were searching for from the beginning.
The intricate designs and one-of-a-kind bottle shape as well as the unique flavors including jasmine tea-infused maple syrup and whiskey barrel-aged maple syrup, among others, make Runamok’s maple syrup a high-end delicacy and tasteful gift.
Runamok Maple products are available on Amazon and via retail partners in nearly all 50 states. You can find out more about where to purchase and the company’s mission and history on its website www.runamokmaple.com