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Harwood Gold

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Another Making It In Michigan Success Story: Harwood Gold

The Parson family has been making pure maple syrup since 1898 on their farm located in Charlevoix. Dave Parsons took over the maple syrup hobby from his father, who learned all his maple syrup knowledge from his father. In the 2000's, Dave updated the whole syrup-making process. He and his wife Terri turned the family hobby into a business, selling the syrup at local farmer's markets, restaurants, and online. Dave’s daughter Amber and her husband decided to move back to the farm and are now the 5th generation taking over the family farm. Amber and Phillip Munday treated their first year as an apprenticeship with her parents. They took that year to learn the ins and outs of the business and in June 2015 became owners of the Harwood Gold brand.

Since taking over the business, Dave and Amber have expanded their product line to carry 11 new products under the Harwood Gold label. All of the products are made in the commercial kitchen on the farm. Their products are sold in specialty shops, local grocery stores, and restaurants across Northern Michigan and downstate.

In the near future, they are hoping to make their farm location suitable for agritourism and have plans to renovate the oldest barn into a farm- to- table restaurant offering a wide variety of local fare.

 “The MSU Product Center helped me get five products to be shelf stable for market last year,” states owner Phillip Munday. “The products I developed use a slightly different process than most, therefore making it more complicated to write the process authority letter. The Product Center was extremely helpful through the whole process and kept me up to date as we proceeded. I am very happy with the Product Center’s service, and I am looking forward to working with them again in the near future.”

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