Spotlight on the Viability Initiative: Ben's Sugar Shack
The New Hampshire Food Alliance is excited to announce the Farm, Fish, and Food Enterprise Viability Initiative. This initiative entails several areas of opportunity where the network can create conditions that will lead to more profitable and sustainable farm, fish, and food enterprises including Education, Land Resources and Access, Market Development, and Food Accessibility. In order to illustrate the great work that is already being done in these areas, we have compiled a series of blog posts to share success stories. This Spotlight on the Viability Initiative focuses on the opportunity area of Education.
Ben Fisk, maple syrup producer and owner of Ben’s Sugar Shack in Temple, NH started tapping trees at age 5. Today, at 27, Ben’s Sugar Shack employs 15 people and last year produced 5,100 gallons of maple syrup that was sold in 4,000 stores across the nation. Ben’s entrepreneurial success is due both to his passion for his work and because he consistently seeks out new opportunities for learning and growth. Ben was able to increase his inventory and refine his business model by working with a financial consultant provided by the NH Community Loan Fund. Both have set his business up for more growth and financing in the future. “The Loan Fund is tremendous to work with. They will provide whatever assistance you need—financial or business-related—to help guide you towards bigger growth opportunities,” says Ben. Today, Ben’s Sugar Shack is a diverse operation offering much more than syrup. While 75% of Ben’s product is sold to the wholesale market as far afield as California, he has also expanded his retail offerings at his sugar shack in Temple, with tours, a host of maple related products, and seasonal produce.