Gowanda maple syrup producer builds new sugar house

GOWANDA – Tucked away on Zoar Road in Gowanda, is a hidden gem full of sticky goodness. The Maple Glen Sugar House offers a large variety of maple products all made by hand, and a new beautiful building.

Located on Zoar Road, the property is home to a “brand new state of the art” sugar house. Owner Paul Lesefske completed the new sugar house recently that was dreamed up after Lesefske wanted a steamaway, a machine used in evaporation of sap for making syrup.

“It started with talk about a steamaway. In order to do that, we would have had to take the roof off,” Lesefske said.

The new house replaces the former sugar house which was knocked down. In order to make room for the new building, a two-story 28-foot by 40-foot structure, the old building had to be knocked down. Knocking down the former building, Lesefske said, was “bittersweet.”

“It was a bittersweet thing to rip down but I knew this (new building) would be so much better,” Lesefske said.

The new sugar house took 10 months to construct and Lesefske and his brother, Dana worked together. Construction started after Maple Weekend last March. Dana works in construction and it was natural for him to do the work, Lesefske said.

“My brother, Dana was the mastermind,” he said. “He enjoyed (building).”

The new building includes a bathroom and is heated. The stair tread is made from maple wood and the beams in the ceiling are made from spruce. Also for an added touch, maple leafs are cut out of wood. On the property, Lesefske has three lots of trees used for tapping. While on a tour, demonstrations of tree tapping are available. Maple Glen Sugar house taps all their trees themselves. The sap is brought in to a tank and put through a reverse osmosis machine. The purpose of this machine is to draw the water out before boiling the sap. Maple Glen Sugar House makes maple syrup, candy and cream. They sell all their products, plus others including pancake mix, jelly and more, on location.

Maple Glen Sugar House will be open during the 18th annual Maple Weekend during the weekends of March 16-17 and 23-24 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. when tours and free samples will be given. Food will be available for purchase, including fry cakes and hot dogs boiled in sap, plus more. Horse drawn wagon rides will be available for $2. The first 200 children will receive a free Maple Weekend coloring book. Lesefske also offers tours during maple season.

To schedule a tour, call 532-5483. For more information on Maple Glen Sugar House, visit mapleglensyrup.com.

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