Meet Your Local Sugarhouse: Folsom’s Sugar House’s Brian and Sue Folsom
The Folsoms are celebrating 30 years at their Chester sugarhouse
We may be biased, but we stand by the fact that Granite State maple syrup is where it’s at. Visit a sugarhouse and get a closer look at the maple process during New Hampshire Maple Month is held March 1 through March 31. Sugarhouses around the state will open their doors to the public (with masks and social distance rules in place), offering a behind-the-scenes look at how sap becomes the delicious stuff that graces our Sunday brunch tables. To help celebrate this tasty, golden month, we’re starting a series of “Meet Your Local Sugar House” profiles to introduce you to some of the sweet sugar houses around New Hampshire and the men and women behind them.
For our latest profile, meet Brian and Sue Folsom. Brian and Sue are the co-founders of Folsom’s Sugar House, a sugarhouse that’s been operating in Chester since 1991. Read on to learn all about the farm and this year’s sugaring season.
Tell us about the history of your sap house.
Brian and Sue: “In the late ’80s, friends of ours who ran a dairy farm in Chester asked us if we had maple trees because they decided to give sugaring a try. We did, [so we] tapped our trees, brought our sap to them for boiling, and got some pure maple syrup at the end of the season as a thank-you. But the next year they didn’t do it, so we borrowed the equipment and did it ourselves. That sent us down the path to being totally hooked on maple sugaring, and soon after we built our own sugarhouse and got our own equipment. We opened to the public in the spring of 1991.”
What makes your sugarhouse special or different?
Brian and Sue: “One thing that visitors most like about us is the sweet maple aroma rising from our open evaporator, which just draws you in as soon as you open the door. And many people each year comment how cute our buildings are.”
What are you best known for?
Brian and Sue: “While we make great syrup, we are best known for our maple cream and maple candy. We have an avid following of customers not only in New Hampshire, but all over the country.”
What was it about the location that attracted you?
Brian and Sue: “A few years after we were married we started house hunting and ended up in Chester. It was a small rural community with lots of agriculture and open space that we fell in love with.”
Tell us about the most memorable day you’ve had working on the farm?
Brian and Sue: “Our most memorable day was in 2006 when we were awarded our New Hampshire Farm of Distinction Award from the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture.”
Tell us a secret or little-known fact about your farm.
Brian and Sue: “Several years ago, the New Hampshire Division of Tourism used a photo of our sugarhouse for a tourism ad in Yankee magazine. It was a full two-page spread!”
Do you have anything exciting planned this season – new products, experiences or milestones?
Brian and Sue: “This year marks our 30th anniversary. To celebrate, we’ll be selling custom mug jars filled with our maple syrup to commemorate the season.”
What keeps you passionate about doing what you do?
Brian and Sue: “We take pride in making the best maple syrup and pure maple products we can — and it’s our customers. They are wonderful people who appreciate all that goes into making great maple syrup. Many have been coming since our very first season. There are parents who are now grandparents who are coming with the grand kids in tow. It’s a fun family friendly activity that never gets old.”
How can people best support you right now?
Brian and Sue: “The best way to support us and others is to buy local. We’ll have hours through the season for in-person purchases, maple-to-go for contact-free purchases and we can ship products to family and friends.”