Nova Maple Syrup was established in 2015 with the purchase of a 100-acre property in Hartstown, Pennsylvania. The inaugural commercial syrup season began in late January of 2016 with roughly 7,500 taps. Since then we’ve expanded to 22,000 taps covering 275 acresand offer a full line of maple products including maple candy, cream, granulated sugar, and barrel aged syrup.
How did we get here?
During the winter of 2013, Jake decided to try making his own maple syrup with some of the trees on their 1.5-acre property as a hobby. He researched online, ordered the necessary equipment for a small-scale operation, and got to work. He tapped 50 trees and hung plastic bags to collect the sap. He and Hailee chopped wood and boiled the sap over an open fire at the back of the property. When the season was over, they had made 17 gallons of syrup.
Jake, along with help from Hailee and some friends, continued to make maple syrup over the next two seasons, each year upgrading methods and equipment. Instead of using plastic bags that had to be collected and poured into a barrel, they were now connecting all the trees with tubing that used a vacuum to pump the sap to a single collection point. This, in addition to tapping more trees (200 instead of just 50) increased production to 50 gallons a year. Jake and Hailee used the syrup to give away as favors at their wedding in July of 2014 in glass maple leaf bottles.
Thoughts of producing maple syrup on a commercial scale began to enter their minds, so they started searching for a suitable plot of wooded land. They found what they were looking for in Hartstown, PA.
After a successful first season producing commercially, Jake and Hailee had their sights set on expanding. Three more properties, totaling 170-acres, were purchased and set up for the 2017 season. With newly recruited help, 15,000 additional taps were put in, making Nova Maple Syrup one of the largest producers in the area.
After non-stop work for the last several years (including having 2 sugar babies), we’re concentrating on fine-tuning our operation. We may install a new sugar bush in the future if the opportunity presents itself. In the mean time, we are always expanding our line of products so follow our blog and social media (Facebook and Instagram) to stay in the loop!
If you’re interested in visiting our farm, we have started offering tours on the AirBnB Experiences platform. Please contact us through the AirBnB listing with your desired date/time and we will do our best to accommodate you and your group.
A few reasons… Jake’s first business, a software company that developed apps for apple products, was called Nuclear Nova Software. This lead Jake and Hailee to name their first dog Nova. Nova is a Golden Retriever/German Shepherd mix born on Thanksgiving of 2011, and her silhouette is featured in the NMS logo.
Meet The Team
While it’s not uncommon for farmers to switch to the tech world, Jake was actually a developer programming his own video games for ten years prior to starting the farm. With a masters degree in engineering his favorite part of the business is designing and implementing custom solutions to the unique challenges encountered every day. Outside of work he enjoys playing hockey, soccer, and golf several times a week, and spending time with his two sons, Dexter and Quinn.
Hailee grew up outside of Toronto before moving to PA to play soccer in college. Is it any wonder she ended up making maple syrup for a living? It was a winding road with a brief stop in public accounting and five years teaching high school business. After helping on weekends/summers, Hailee had her first son in 2019 and joined the team full-time. Hailee’s favorite part of the business is bringing her dogs to work and giving tours. She continues to play soccer whenever possible and helps coach the local high school teams.
After graduating from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a degree in cultural anthropology, Kameron fell in love with maple farming. She enjoys working with her sister, boyfriend, and the rest of her Nova family. Kam likes making the maple sugar, and eating the maple cream. She is convinced that the maple farm is haunted, and aims to prove it to her coworkers!
Although Lauren is our youngest employee, she is definitely our feistiest! She is locally grown, having graduated from Jamestown High School in 2019. She enjoys the outdoors and working in her hometown. Her older sister works here as well, which is one of her favorite things about the job! Some of her favorite tasks at the farm include working with the cows, bottling syrup, and the work attire. Her favorite Nova product to make and eat is the maple cream. She is passionate about sourcing locally and supporting small farms.
Brian Huddleson is the Chef at Nova Maple with over a decade of culinary and management experience in the hospitality field. Brian has an Associate’s in Specialized Technology from Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Arts School. He is responsible for overseeing the quality and standards of our syrup and other products we make. Mr. Huddleson is a family man with a loving wife (Kelsey) and child (Cameron). His favorite part of working on the farm is the physical nature of the job, keeping him out of the gym.
Jake is our in-house videographer. Having graduated from Thiel college with a degree in film, he loves to make videos about the maple farm. He is an avid outdoorsman and forager, focusing on local fungus species. His biggest goal in working here is to finally spot the infamous Sasquatch while tapping the maple trees.
Nova Maple Syrup
5950 Roemer Lane
Hartstown, PA 16131