Plain to Sweet
- ABOUT US -
At the age of seven, Jim Finen got his start making syrup. His father, Don Finen, wanted to make syrup and Jim and his brother Andrew were going to help. The family would need a sugar house and in 1986, the boys started construction of the log cabin sugar house. Each year, Jim looked forward to the spring thaw and the anticipation of sugaring to begin.
When Margaret met Jim in May of 2010, Jim worked as an installation manager at Lowes. He spoke about the sugar bush often and one day, Margaret asked to see it. She had no concept of sugaring and was in awe when they arrived and walked through the woods and saw many lines of tubing. Jim took the time to explain all of it to her and she could tell he was very passionate about it. In September of 2010, Jim made the decision to leave his job at Lowes and to pursue a career as a sugar maker. In October 2010, Jim proposed to Margaret and they were married in November. Jim asked her where she would like to get married and her reply was the sugar house. Jim was stunned that this woman from the city would really want to get married in a sugar house. With the help of Joanne and Nicole Gadway, it happened. On November 19, 2010, Jim and Margaret were married at the sugar house Jim helped build as a young boy in his dads sugar bush.
In the spring of 2011, Jim and Margaret helped Andy and Joanne Gadway boil. Andy and Joanne could see that Jim had a love for sugaring. At the time, they had their house for sale and wouldn't split the land. By the end of the season, they made Jim's dream come true and sold them the sugar bush and remained in the house. For three years, the Gadways guided Jim and Margaret along a new path and the business began to grow. In 2011, there were roughly 1800 taps. In 2012, Jim expanded to 2600.
In 2014, Jim expanded further and began purchasing sap from others and is up to 5000 taps to date.
In January 2017, Finen Maple Products’ syrup was on the shelves at Walmart! They began in the Potsdam location and are now in 8 stores between Plattsburgh and Syracuse New York.