Roch Fortin, a 32 year veteran Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer was stationed in Northern New Brunswick Canada as District Officer. The topography and harsh conditions shaped the history and heart of the people that cultivated the Atlantic land and sea. The residents of Northern New Brunswick learned to be resourceful. The families were determined to forge a living handed down with pride from generation to generation, by instilling the importance of hard work and, tradition. This made a lasting impression on Roch, and he made as much an impression on the residents as they had made on him. He was witness to the maple craftsmen that disciplined the land. He was impressed by their passion, technique, attention to purity and tradition. For several years Roch worked and lived side by side with the people of North New Brunswick until his retirement. At his retirement farewell, he made a promise to help the people he had come to respect. He met two very hard working maple craftsmen with incredible passion, location and control, quality. Their market was limited.
Roch, his wife Lisa and their 2 children relocated to Summerland BC after his retirement in 2011. He had intended to initiate and liaison the market from New Brunswick to Summerland. To help open new markets for the people he promised to help. He never wanted to become a business owner. Roch is a natural collaborator. He is motivated by making connection and outcomes. He soon realized that he enjoyed the role of business owner. He found it very rewarding and fulfilling. Without any business experience, he applied for registration of the product. The clerk informed Roch he needed a name for his business. Without any thought, he wrote Maple Roch on the application. Foremost, his goal was to find a way to link east with west. Helping the community that made an impression on him and the new home he chose to raise his family.
In 2012 Maple Roch started with 6 barrels. Today we procured over 100 barrels. We have developed a close relationship with 3 maple craftsmen families in New Brunswick by paying a premium price for their exceptional syrup. This arrangement has allowed the families an opportunity to expand their operations and provide a meaningful living for their families. Roch is a Director of the Summerland Food Bank and Resource Centre. His Board passion is to help clients with permanent disabilities find gainful employment. In his role as business owner he can mentor and employ people with disabilities to package and label his maple syrup. Maple Roch is not just a business but a social enterprise.
None of our success could be possible without the tremendous community support of Summerland. Because of hard work and community support Maple Roch has secured a contract with SYSCO Foods, providing high quality Maple Syrup to local chefs. This lucrative contract has solidified our progress and led to the development of new products and brands.
Voted Top Ten Small Business BC Business with Community Impact
Summerland Business of the Year
Summerland Excellence in Customer Service
BC Food Processors Finalist Rising Star Award
Thompson Okanagan Business Excellence Awards Finalist
Featured by Destination BC on Global TV