Sanner Maple Products is a fifth generation maple sugar operation. We are nestled in the beautiful hills of Somerset County, Pennsylvania. We are one of the biggest maple production operations in Somerset County.
Back in the 1800's, in the early years of our family operation, Elmer Snyder used a hand auger to tap the maple trees. He would insert a wooden spile and catch the sweet water in a wooden keeler. He then gathered the sugar water in a horse drawn, wooden hauling tank. He boiled the sugar water down in a flat pan fired with wood and coal to make the sweet syrup.
The sugar camp was passed down to his son, Earl Snyder, who kept the tradition alive, along with his children. Earl’s daughter, Hazel (Snyder) Sanner, passed the tradition on to her two sons, Charles and Ken Sanner. They currently own and manage the operation, with the help of Charles' wife Jane and their son Andy (Elmer’s great, great grandson).
Our current camp came into operation in 1976. The building is still the same, as is the 6' x 18' oil fired evaporator. Today we use a Reverse Osmosis machine, which concentrates the sugar water, cutting down on boiling time and fuel usage. At one time, it would take up to 6 gallons of fuel to make 1 gallon of syrup. Since the Reverse.Osmosis machine was implemented, it takes approximately 1.5 gallons of fuel to make a gallon of syrup.
The trees are now tapped with battery and gas powered drills. We tap approximately 14,000 taps each season, with nearly 13,000 of those taps on a tubing system. Of those 13,000 taps on the tubing system, approximately 10,000 of them are on a vacuum system, which lowers the pressure in the system. This ultimately allows the sugar water to flow more freely from the tree. About 1,000 taps are still flowing into metal keelers, just as our ancestors used. The water is now hauled to the camp with tractors and stainless steel hauling tanks. We also pump some of the sugar water directly to the camp to cut down on hauling time.
Although our specialty is producing pure maple syrup, we also offer sugar cakes, taffy, maple hard tac, cotton candy, and maple glazed peanuts, to name a few. Come on in, take a look, and experience the sweet taste of Sanner Maple Products. You're sure to find just the right thing to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Maple season is a wonderful time of year! Many days are spent in the sugar camp boiling and canning syrup. You will often find Andy's two sons, Steven and Adam, spending time in the sugar camp learning the ways of sugaring and tasting the sweet syrup. They will carry on the family tradition for many years to come.