Yeany Promotes Sweet Side of Farm to Table
MARIENVILLE, Pa. – Dave Yeany, the owner of Yeany’s Maple Syrup of Marienville, is a supporter of the Farm to Table movement. He took a circuitous route to bring his sweet syrup products to the table.
Yeany attends the annual Farm to Table Conference in Pittsburgh that has helped his business grow. The Farm to Table Western Pennsylvania has also developed, and this year’s conference from May 1 to May 10 was held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.
“They celebrate the connections that are made by supporting local farms, food producers, wineries, distilleries, and breweries,” said Yeany. “I’ve seen an increase in business since I’ve become part of the group.”
In addition to his many private customers, Yeany’s Maple Syrup is used in restaurants, including the Duquesne Club in downtown Pittsburgh and at the Square Café in Regent Square on Babcock Boulevard.
“Maple is one of the best sweeteners in the world,” Yeany said.
What began as a hobby back in 2004 grew into a family-owned and operated producer of pure Pennsylvania maple syrup.
Yeany’s Maple Syrup is now a 4,000-tap operation in Forest County producing over 1,000 gallons of maple syrup each year.
Part of its success is Dave’s total involvement, including packaging and following his product from the maple tree to the consumer, from “farm” to table.
Starting with a couple of old gas hot plates, he cooked the maple that he tapped from the trees in his yard. The next step was asking his neighbors if he could tap their trees, too.
He tapped a lot of trees in his hometown of Marienville, and the next thing he knew, by the end of the season he had 56 taps and made 12 gallons of maple syrup. Seeing it as a hobby and something fun, Dave gave it all away.
In 2005, he found a free 30×10 Grimm Wood Fired Maple Syrup Evaporator in Coatesville, Indiana, and he and a friend drove there to pick it up.
He ended up putting 86 taps on that evaporator, and they made 36 gallons of syrup. The evaporator didn’t have a draw spout, so they had to actually lift the pan and pour the syrup off. They also had cold sap there to throw in the pan to keep the pan from burning up. The evaporator melted the insulbrick siding off the side of the garage.
They used that evaporator for two years, and then he found another one for $3,000.00 when Dave decided to get serious.
“At the time, I didn’t have an extra $3,000.00, so I told the guy that I would give him $500.00 down on it and to keep it until Memorial Day, and I would be back,” Yeany said. “That was the first of April, and by Memorial Day, we made enough money from selling syrup to give the guy the other $2,500.00.”
Dave boiled on that evaporator for three years.
His business continued to grow, and he started tapping “every tree in sight.”
By 2010, Yeany had 3,000 taps on the evaporator, so he bought a high-efficiency wood-fired evaporator, and he could boil around 380 gallons an hour. Thanks to Dave’s continued education in production and by using reverse osmosis and an efficient evaporator, he has gained about a 50 percent increase in his maple syrup production.
He now gets over 20 gallons of sap per tap, and he doesn’t put as many taps in the trees.
Dave explains that it doesn’t take as many taps to make a good crop of syrup, and his system is located on 138 leased acres. He sold all of his buckets and currently has 4,000 taps on high vacuum. Because it is an efficient system, he is expecting to add more taps.
He is hoping to get 5,000 taps on the current woods.
Dave looks forward to meeting new people and visiting return customers and friends.
Yeany’s Maple offers a variety of maple products from syrup to candy-coated nuts to maple creams.
Dave sells his goods at the Farmers Market in Clarion from spring to fall and also promotes his products at area festivals.
Yeany’s Maple Syrup and other maple products can be found year-round at Yeany’s location in Marienville, Leeper Market, The Little Store in East Hickory, PJ’S Country Market in Fryburg, Hirsch’s Meats in Kossuth, Tom’s Meats in Brookville, Dave’s Country Meats in Valencia, Tom’s Meats in Saxonburg, Butler Farm Market in Renfrew, and Trax Farms in Finleyville. Yeany’s Maple Syrup is also served at the Gateway Lodge in Cook Forest.
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