About Us

Maple Run Emporium opened its front door on Market Street in Potsdam, New York, on April 1, 2011, and began its saga and evolution as a specialty shop featuring gourmet foods, cookware, and an artisan gallery. Today, it is considered one of downtown Potsdam’s anchor shops.

One of the primary achievements of the shop has been the creation of Maple Run Emporium brand products. Currently Maple Run Emporium showcases more than 40 different products including maple spice peppers, maple coffees, maple teas, pancake and waffle mixes, and a maple chocolate drink mix. The Maple Run Emporium brand also features maple scented products for the kitchen and bath.

The Making of an Emporium

Officially named Maple Run Emporium, many people now call the shop The Maple Store, or The Kitchen Store, The Knife Store – or simply Maple Run. With its eclectic range of quality merchandise, Maple Run Emporium is all of these things.

Initially, the maple theme dominated the venue with nearly the entire inventory consisting of products made with maple syrup, maple sugar, and maple wood.

Maple Run Emporium InteriorToday, the maple theme is still the focus of the shop, but the product line up has broadened to include top brand names in cookware, electrics, knives, utensils, and stemware, as well as textiles, baskets, and cookbooks.

According to owner Mary Hilton, the expansion into other areas of merchandise was primarily due to customer requests.

Restaurant chefs wanted Wusthof knives. People who entertained at home wanted stemware, serving ware, and oven-to-table cookware. Home cooks at every skill level simply demanded the best in cooking pots, pans, ceramics, electrics, and accessories.

To meet the customers’ needs and wants, Maple Run Emporium has continually added new lines. Currently, the shop carries world-renowned kitchenware brands including Wusthof, Le Creuset, All-Clad, Mauviel, Staub, Breville, Swiss Diamond, DeBuyer, Nordic Ware, Emile Henry, Bialetti, Bodum, Lagostina, Jonathan’s Spoons, William Bounds, and Fletcher’s Mill.

For entertaining at home, the shop features an extensive array of J.K. Adams cutting and serving boards and slate servers, Zwiesel stemware and decanters, Laguiole cheese knife sets, and Leslie Evans table runners, trivets and cheese boards.

The shop’s gourmet foods also suggested adding complementary cookware as a convenience for customers. Maple Run Emporium offers maple teas and coffees, spurring the addition of tea kettles, French presses, tea infusers, espresso makers, and coffee bean grinders. The shop’s pancake and waffles mixes, syrups, and jams inspired a bevy of breakfast pans including specialty pancake and waffle griddles, as well as pans for making ebelskivers, poffertjes, crepes, and blinis.

Gourmet Foods – Maple Is On Trend

Maple’s unique flavor has also boosted the shop’s line-up of gourmet foods far beyond the basic maple syrup, cream, sugar, and molded sugar leaves.

Additionally, product manufacturers have become increasingly aware that “maple flavor” is not the same as including real maple in the ingredients, spurring them to use the real thing in their new product introductions.

Maple Run Emporium currently features a range of products made with maple syrup or maple sugar including mustards, hot sauces, relish, jams, butters, soy sauces, sardines, vinegars, cheeses, drink mixes, coffees, teas, spices, barbecue sauces, glazes, pickles, salad dressings, jerkies, cookies, candies, nuts, potato chips, tortilla chips, and aioli.

In 2015, Maple Run Emporiums, Inc. obtained a New York State Liquor Authority License in order to carry locally made Maple Porter, an absolutely delicious and refreshing beverage. While the availability of Maple Porter is seasonal and limited, locally made ales and hard ciders are currently available at the shop year-round.

“I am continually discovering new products that are made with real maple as an ingredient,” said Ms. Hilton. “The flavors are wonderful and inspiring – just tasting a bourbon-barrel aged hardwood smoked soy sauce will set off your cooking creativity.”

Maple Run Emporium specializes in creating custom Gift Baskets using these delectable consumables. Customers can simply fill one of the many Peterboro baskets on display with products of their choice and the shop will design the product placement and arrange the shred, cellophane, and ribbon into a beautiful presentation.

Customers can also dream up a gift basket theme, such as Breakfast or Barbeque, or Snacks, telephone the idea in to the shop, and have Maple Run Emporium select the products to create the basket for pick-up at the customer’s convenience.

The Artisan Gallery

Maple Run Emporium Artisan GalleryMaple Run Emporium has also become a destination point as a specialty gift shop, especially for the unique items found in the Artisan Gallery. Featured at the front of the shop, the Artisan Gallery is a beautiful, light-filled, high-ceilinged space filled with locally made pottery, baskets, woodturnings, and paintings.

For weddings, showers, anniversaries, birthdays, and other special occasions, customers can find unique, handmade, unusual items in the gallery – a tiger maple salt and pepper mill set, an exhibition quality wood bowl, a copper fish wall sconce, a hand-woven market basket, or a beautifully glazed piece of wheel-thrown pottery.

“Most of the items in the gallery are functional art – you want to put them on display in your home as a work of art to enjoy, but you can also use them for cooking and serving,” said Ms. Hilton. “It’s absolutely fantastic to have so many great artists in the area and I love being able to showcase their work in my shop.”

Featured artists in the Maple Run Emporium Artisan Gallery are Jan Close, Max Gorfinkel, Bob Pinkerton, Aaron Houser, Donna Jadlos, Isaac Snell, Ron Larsen, Nanette Bergevin, Anne Burnham, Michiko Taylor, Judith Utter, Julian Vadas, and Colin Prahl.

Events at Maple Run Emporium

Since opening, Maple Run Emporium has participated in a variety of Potsdam events including Summer Festival, First Saturday, Fright Night, Super Holiday Weekend, Art Walk, and Small Business Saturday. Maple Run Emporium has also hosted a book signing, a charity fundraiser, and numerous sampling events.

For Potsdam’s biggest event, Summer Festival, Maple Run Emporium has provided space for artists to showcase and demonstrate their work. The premier artist that launched this now annual tradition was award-winning wood-turner Jan Close.

For Summer Festival 2011, Jan filled four display tables with examples of his work, including extraordinary pieces made of woods other than maple. This initiated the inclusion of other types of wood in the Artisan Gallery, which now showcases distinctive pieces in cherry, black walnut, Douglas fir, butternut, and yellow birch. Jan has been the Artist in Residence at Maple Run Emporium every Summer Festival since 2011.

Additional artists who have showcased and demonstrated their craft at Maple Run Emporium during Summer Festival are basket weaver Donna Jadlos, who spends the day in the shop creating a basket, and potter Isaac Snell, who demonstrated wheel-throwing pottery on the sidewalk in front of the shop.

First Saturday is a much-loved event at Maple Run Emporium – it’s the first Saturday when all of the students from SUNY Potsdam and Clarkson University are back in town for the coming school year. Every year since opening, the shop has provided a variety of fun product-tasting events for the students as well as drawings for Gift Baskets. During the five-hour event, the shop hosts approximately 200 students.

Fright Night is an evening in downtown Potsdam when parents bring their costumed children to Trick or Treat at the local businesses. Maple Run Emporium has offered a variety of events for the children, ranging from pottery-making, to witnessing a sugar-on-snow demonstration, to candy give-a-ways of treats they may not have tried before - maple caramels and maple salt water taffy.

The initial Fright Night in 2011 showcased potter Andrew Minnery who helped the children roll out clay and cut it with a maple leaf cookie cutter, which he later glazed and fired to make beautiful spoon rests. More than 150 children participated and came back later to pick-up their finished artwork.

One of the most memorable Fright Nights was in 2014 when the Thomas family of Windy Hill Maple set up an outdoor sugarhouse in front of the shop. They boiled sap and drizzled it over trays of shaved ice, which they rolled on sticks and handed to children as taffy historically known as wax-on-snow or sugar-on-snow. It’s a centuries-old tradition most of the children had never seen.

For the holidays, Maple Run Emporium has always participated in the local Potsdam weekend promotions including window decorating contests, Small Business Saturdays, and Super Holiday Weekends.

In 2017, Maple Run Emporium added its own holiday event – The Holiday Shopping and Sampling Fundraiser for the North Country Children’s Museum (NCCM). Maple Run Emporiums, Inc. is a member of the NCCM Founder’s Circle. Over 125 people attended the 90-minute gala, which raised $2,000 for the museum. Festivities included four tables of samplings of maple delicacies from Maple Run Emporium, a cider bar tasting by Kaneb Orchards, live music by The Latin Ensemble from the Crane School of Music, festive complimentary gift-wrapping by Jane Lammers, an artist-in-residence exhibition by Jan Close, and a drawing for a sumptuous Maple Run Emporium Gift Basket.

The Future

In years to come, the shop will continue to add new products in cookware and gourmet foods, new artists and artwork in the Artisan Gallery, and new items for the Maple Run Emporium brand of products. Additionally, new arenas connected to home and cultured living are in the works for the shop.

“My plan is to keep building on what is already great about the shop and to introduce new dimensions to our inventory. People love the atmosphere, the layout, and the merchandise. I will continue to build on that love,” said Ms. Hilton. “I truly adore the shop and enjoy every single day of being here. I know so many of my clientele and their families by first name. It’s also fascinating to learn about and incorporate all that’s available online in social media and e-commerce and to connect with people from all over this country.”

Maple Run Emporiums, Inc. is a member of the following organizations: