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Maple Acres Farm sets up shop in Blind River

Shop to sell eggs, poultry, maple syrup from Maple Acres Farm, work with 27 small businesses

Ron and Jayne Baxter are excited to open their first Maple Acres Farm shop.

The couple have been in the process of finishing renovations and stocking items they will sell at their 7b Woodward Ave location in Blind River. The decision to open a permanent store was based on the success they had operating a pop-up store in the business core of the town last November and the positive response from customers they had coming through their doors or ordering online.

They have also worked as vendors at different markets selling their produce with a store being a natural progression of that experience.

The couple, who operate a farm near Iron Bridge, have about 200 egg-laying chickens plus poultry they sell. Also featured on their store shelves will be their own maple syrup. Ron takes the raw sap from 2,000 tapped trees and refines it to their finished maple syrup. He eventually hopes to expand to 5,000 taps.

Customers can also find housewares, honey, coffee, homemade soups, granola, popcorn treats, sugar, and vegetables as part of their inventory.

They pride themselves with working with local companies, locally produced products, and suppliers.

“All in all, there’s 27 small businesses we work with — that’s a lot of businesses,” Jayne said.

Avid recyclers, they invite customers to bring in their own cartons to purchase eggs or containers to fill with sugar, granola, or other food products in the quantity they want. Reusable travel mugs, also available in store, are in line with the couple’s recycling philosophy.

Ron has a licence to grade eggs, which makes it possible to sell over the counter at the 13 different locations they supply with their brown eggs from free-range chickens. Twice monthly, he travels to the Sudbury market with about 300 dozen eggs to sell.

They had planned a soft opening for Monday, Jan. 17, with Algoma Public Health restrictions in place.

A café component for takeout coffee will also be in place soon.

The Baxters have rented the space for a year to see how their products sell during the four seasons. If it proves successful, they will be looking for a more permanent location depending on the space they will need.

From the start, the couple is working the business on their own but are not ruling out hiring in the future depending on demand.

Early mornings now are spent dropping their two young children to their school in Blind River and expect the store will open at 10 a.m. each morning until 5 p.m.

“Once the café is up and running, I’ll open at 8 a.m.,” Jayne said.

A grand opening event is planned sometime in the near future.

— ElliotLakeToday