Success Stories

Each year, hundreds of U.S. suppliers participate in Food Export-Midwest and Food Export-Northeast’s programs.  As a result, companies are successful at generating new export sales, establishing new distributorships, expanding their production facilities, and hiring additional employees.  Read these success stories to learn more.

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Maple Syrup Company Gains Exports to Multiple International Markets

by Food Export | Jan 10, 2019
SBFK Inc (Sugar Bob’s Maple Syrup), is a small, “family and friends” maple sugaring operation with a unique process for their sweet, smoky maple syrup located in Londonderry, Vermont. They have participated in Food Export Northeast’s Branded Program since 2016, utilizing their funding to participate in Focused Trade Missions, Buyers Missions, international trade shows, and other programs and services.

In the fall of 2016 they participated in a joint State of Vermont/Food Export-Northeast Focused Trade Mission to Japan with several other maple producers as well as a variety of specialty food, cheese, and spirits producers from Vermont.  The Japanese market for maple syrup is dominated by Canadian companies who have been in the market for a while, and the Japanese buyers they met with were very well versed in the world of maple.  

SBFK specializes in the value added savory maple pantry space including Smoked Maple Syrup used in savory sauces, barbecue, and cocktails.  It was there that they found traction in the market partnering with an importer, Premium Beverages of Japan, and has since sold several pallets of products to them, which generated a profit for the company and brought Japanese dollars to the United States.

They have expanded their operation and created 2 full time equivalent jobs in Vermont, as well as acquired another company, Vermont Maple Sriracha, since the trip to Japan.

SBFK’S founder Robert Hausslein explains “We are a very small, emerging company, with sales of less than half a million annually at this time. Export sales are a key component of our growth.  The MAP funds that were used in putting these efforts together were indispensable in our journey. The Focused Trade Mission concept is a very powerful one, and we were happy to participate and made a point of coming away with a sale. Continuing sales are proof of the concept. Profitable sales are the Win. We have achieved all three.”

In the summer of 2017 SBFK participated in the Specialty Food Buyers Mission at the 2017 Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City and generated a lead to Australia as a result of attending the show.  Since then they have been exporting small amounts of Smoke Maple to the Australian market.

SBFK has also had recent sales to a meat processor in Taiwan, who indicated that they learned about their product at a trade show in the market, generated through their Japanese importer contact, Premium Beverages.

They also currently export to the European market through a Swiss based specialty maple retailer and have some pending sales to the Canadian market that have not born fruit yet, but they are confident will in time.  

We look forward to sharing many more Success Stories from SBFK in the future as they continue to grow their exports internationally.

Food Export uses funding from the Market Access Program (MAP) to help America’s small businesses increase their exports of food and agricultural products. As these exports increase, these small businesses are creating jobs and improving the strength and stability of our agricultural economy. Food Export-Midwest and Food Export-Northeast are non-profit organizations that work in collaboration with their member state departments of agriculture and the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. They offer a wide range of programs and services that help boost America’s agricultural exports.  

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