The Hargroves


Zak and Karen Hargrove have owned and operated South Ridge Maple since 2015. Their vision is to become the largest organic maple syrup company in the world, and to bring technological innovation to what has traditionally been a very low-tech industry.

The Hargrove family has been in the maple business for three generations. Zak’s father, Gus Hargove is the owner of Canadian Organic Maple. Together, the Hargroves have over 250,000 trees tapped in the South Ridge area of central New Brunswick. Both are professional engineers, bringing a practical approach to designing and operating efficient and large syrup operations.

But the Hargroves are also stewards of the forest. Their respect and care for the land is evident in how they run their network of pipes and hoses. When possible, their lines are buried. This keep the sap cold on warm spring days and does not impede moose, deer or bears as the roam the woods.

Because maple syrup production is seasonal, most producers lay off their workers in the summer and fall. The Hargroves are different. They maintain a staff year-round. The team spends the summer months improving the forest and adding new taps. Many are cross-trained in food safety and can shift from the woods to the bottling plant easily. Most days you’ll find Zak in his pick-up truck driving to check in with the crews in the woods, or at the bottling plant. Karen manages the office and sales while raising their three children.