Tapping into success

July 9, 2024

Chad Jakeman, his brother and parents are all smiles on the family farm, awaiting another great season ahead.

If there is one thing we can all agree on, it’s that ‘maple anything’ is a staple in many households across Canada. Whether it’s sandwiched in between two cookies or wrapped around a stick, there is no denying its level of deliciousness.  

Just ask Chad Jakeman, Chief Executive Officer of Jakeman’s Maple Products located in Beachville, Ont. Known for their satisfying sweet treats and golden goodness; the Jakeman family has been producing maple syrup for five generations, carefully sourced from their close-knit community of over 200 local maple farmers.   

Although the family has always been involved in the farming industry, they perfected their syrup-making craft after immigrating to Canada in 1876, learning techniques from settlers in the area. According to Chad, his father and grandfather also helped set up many of the sugar bushes in Ontario.  

It wasn’t long before the Jakeman’s made their mark on the local community; as Chad’s father was often called on to share tips and troubleshoot with farmers in the area about their crop, and his mother with a knack for sales, provided product demos across the country.   

“When I was growing up, we sat around the kitchen table like it was a business meeting,” says Chad. “Family is everything to us and we wouldn’t be where we are today without those two.” 

The business evolved from supplying local restaurants to having products sold in airports across the country; however, Jakeman’s found themselves in a sticky situation in March of 2020. Like many other small businesses, they were fighting to stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the travel and tourism market at a standstill, Chad knew he needed to do something and fast.   

“When everything was shutting down around us, I was grasping at straws,” says Chad. “I went to our local Your Independent Grocer® (YIG) and met with store owner Rob Tremblett; who was essential in putting me in touch with the right people, which seemingly changed our business overnight.”  

A well-timed partnership with Loblaw Companies senior procurement director Anthony DiGiacomo, brought Jakeman’s to our store shelves. “When I started working with Jakeman’s, maple syrup was the hottest commodity in town!” says Anthony. “This was their first experience partnering with a major retailer and the timing couldn’t have been better.”   

It’s a little ironic being the largest maple syrup processor in Ontario, yet still considered a ‘small supplier’; however, being included in this program has made all the difference for Jakeman’s. “We are extremely thrilled and very grateful to be part of the Small Supplier Program,” says Chad. “With the help of Loblaw, we have truly come out on the other side.”  

Jakeman’s Maple Products are available nationally, across our market division and select discount division locations including Loblaws, Valu-Mart, Your Independent Grocer®, No Frills, Atlantic Superstore, Real Canadian Superstore (Ontario and West), Zehrs and Maxi.