The Belcher family has been producing top quality maple syrup for over 60 years. This tradition began during the rationing period of World War II when many commodities, including sugar, were in short supply. As a means to supplement the short supply, Les and Betty Belcher, tapped a few maple trees near their Brighton, MI home, and in a cast iron kettle boiled the water out of the sap until it was maple syrup. It was this sweet syrup that was used in place of sugar. The harvest was so successful that they were able to trade some sugar ration stamps for gasoline stamps.
In 1993, Les' son Jim took over the maple syrup operation. Jim operates the evaporator in much the same way as Les, using wood fuel as a heat source. Jim says, a wood fire is truly an organic way of making good tasting maple syrup. However, in order to keep up with demand and to help keep costs down, a reverse osmosis machine was installed in 2014.
Jim’s conviction that his maple syrup is of high quality was reinforced at the Michigan Maple Syrup Association 2018 winter meeting, where he won First Place and Best of Show with his Amber Rich grade syrup.