POTSDAM, NY – April 20, 2011 – More than 100 people celebrated the official Grand Opening of Maple Run Emporium in Potsdam on April 5 and enjoyed a two-hour open house that featured three tasting tables of maple foods and beverages and a chance to leisurely enjoy the spacious environs of the new gourmet grocery and gift shop.  

In attendance for the ribbon cutting, coordinated by Marylee Ballou of the Potsdam Chamber of Commerce, were Jim Murphy and Fred Hanss of the Potsdam Office of Planning and Development, Michelle Collins of the Small Business Development Center, and members of the Potsdam Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors including Juanita Babcock of the Potsdam Farmer’s Market, David Crowell of Asian World Imports, and Rob Bicknell of Bicknell Corporation.

“It was a great welcome to the community,” said Maple Run owner Mary Hilton. “People really enjoyed the new look of the space and the chance to try some new foods. Everyone was so supportive and enthusiastic about the future of the shop. I thank everyone who came and helped us celebrate. It was a great kick-off.”

Photographer Kathryn Deuel was on hand to document the occasion in photos. Attendees included Daniel Parker, Legislator District 11; Hugh Newton, President of the St. Lawrence County Maple Producers Association; Jim O’Neill of C.W. Augustine, Inc.; Matt Rollins of Community Bank; Rebecca Weld of Renew Architecture and Design; Joe and Cynthia Randi of JA Randi Construction; and Mimi Van Deusen, Village Historian and Director of the Potsdam Museum.

Guests enjoyed syrup-y, savory, and sweet delicacies. Joanne Gadway of Gadway’s Sugarhouse and Maggie and Jim Finen of Finen Maple Products served up samples of their molded maple sugar, maple popcorn, and maple fudge. They also added an educational aspect by showing samples and explaining the processes for making their granulated maple sugar and the various grades of syrup from light to dark amber.
The noon-time party also offered a ‘savory’ sample table of gourmet foods including maple-pepper smoked beef jerky, maple smoked cheddar cheese, maple mustard, maple grille sauce, maple crackers and dipping pretzels. The ‘sweet’ tasting table was comprised of maple cookies, maple fudge, maple glazed nuts, and maple sugared nuts. Beverages included maple soda and maple seltzer, and in honor of the occasion, guests enjoyed tiny shot glasses of maple dessert wine.

“We had a lot of very positive comments about the food and décor,” noted owner Mary Hilton. “Most people were quite surprised to see so many products made using maple syrup. There was also quite a bit of good feedback about the fact that we’re offering top quality kitchenware, which seems to fill a need in the community.”

Maple Run opened its doors on schedule on April 1 as a ‘soft opening’ to test out the shop’s systems and set-up before the Grand Opening. “After four days, we were completely ready for the crowd that came for the Grand Opening,” said Ms. Hilton. “We could just relax, enjoy, and have fun chatting with everyone. It was great to have the opportunity to entertain some of the neighborhood folks who volunteered their time to help me set up the shelves, particularly my new pals Ted Prahl of the Treadmill and Bob Shepherd. We also had a brisk day in sales, which was a bonus!”

Ms. Hilton noted that the event also proved to be a valuable networking opportunity. “It was really great for me to meet Juanita Babcock because now Maple Run has been accepted as a vendor at the Farmer’s Market starting in May,” said Ms. Hilton. “And Maggie Finen told me yesterday that she was able to spend time discussing the future of new maple products with Daniel Parker, the Legislator for District 11, who has been working on related projects for over two years.”

The next phase for Maple Run is the opening of its online shopping cart. Ryan Meashaw, Maple Run Emporium’s Marketing and Creative Director, is working on the project and estimates it will be up and running by May 1.

“The Grand Opening generated quite a bit of word-of-mouth interest about the shop,” said Ms. Hilton. “We’ve had a ton of people come in who love the space and have offered suggestions for activities here, from chef demonstrations to early morning coffee sampling. We’re looking into all of these ideas because they’re really good ones and they come straight from the community.”

Maple Run Emporium at 49 Market Street is open daily from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm. For more information, visit

PHOTO IDENTIFICATION: (back, l-r): Jim Murphy, Juanita Babcock, Ryan Meashaw. (front, l-r): David Crowell, Michelle Collins, Mary Hilton, Sue Hewitson Rob Bicknell, and Fred Hanss. 

PHOTO CREDIT: Kathryn Deuel Photography

High-resolution photographs available upon request. Contact: 315.274.0102.