In 1876, our great grandparents, George and Betsy Anne Jakeman left Oxfordshire, England to settle the Jakeman Family in Oxford County, near Woodstock, Ontario.
The local Native Canadians taught the maple syrup making technique to the Jakeman family. They were shown how to collect sap from maple trees in the early spring and boil it down in an iron kettle over an open wood fire until it was a syrupy golden brown.
In 1919, our grandfather, Ernest Jakeman, purchased his first evaporator, setting it in a crude shelter with no roof. He hung 500 buckets.
In 1951, our father, George Jakeman, purchased a large 5 x 16 evaporator to replace the old one. In 1955, a roof was built over the shanty, but in 1969 a fire forced the abandonment of the original sugar shanty site.
In 1970, we enlarged our operation, building a new sugar shanty and purchasing a new oil-fired evaporator.
In 1976, we moved the Sweaburg General Store that was built in 1855 and used as a store and post office in the nearby village of Sweaburg. The building now functions as our maple gift shop, museum and pancake house.
The family tradition continues with Bob and Mary Jakeman and family, who maintain the production of some of the finest maple syrup from over 1000 taps. All the sap is collected by plastic pipeline and transported to our sugar shanty (next to our country store) where it is then boiled in our modern, high-efficiency natural gas-fired steam evaporator and then finished on a steam finishing pan. The maple syrup is graded and then bottled for use throughout the year.
The Jakeman Family
From left: Devin , Mary Jakeman, Bob Jakeman and Chad
There is nothing more important to us than the sustainability of our trees and looking after them for future generations.
Stewardship is something we take very seriously.
- Trees are not tapped until they are 12 or 30 centimeters in diameter.
- We drill fewer and smaller 5/16 holes so that they can heal and include over rapidly.
- We periodically thin the forest so that overcrowding doesn't limit their growth.
- We use only approved organic cleaners for the sap collection and processing.
- Sap is processed immediately after collecting to preserve and enhance syrup quality.
- Maple syrup is filtered and blended to achieve our very special taste experience.
- The maple syrup is bottled at 190F or higher to guarantee pasteurization.
Vision: Our vision is to be the taste and quality leader in everything we do.
At Jakeman's, we live, eat and dream maple! Maple syrup production is a proud art form that we bottle with much love and care.