About this project
UPDATE, TreeWell in the Media:
Click on this link to see TreeWell on CTV Ottawa Morning Live (Thanks for sitting through the commercial beforehand):
Click here to see the Ottawa Citizen article:
Click here to read the Fulcrum article:
Welcome to TreeWell.
Hi, my name is Tyler Steeves and I want to thank you for checking out our TreeWell Kickstarter. For the past 8 months I've been working on TreeWell full-time, and have poured my time, energy and finances into making the best, locally sourced, non-alcoholic "Sapéritif" on the planet using one of nature's most impressive beverages, sap. Sap is intriguing; it's healthy, nutritious and feeds the most robust and successful vegetation on the planet, trees.
So why are we doing a Kickstarter? Well, to be honest, after over a year of researching, planning, investing, developing, testing, prototyping, and revising the best product we could imagine, we finally have a product that we are proud of, but, as I mentioned in the video, we’ve gotten a little ahead of ourselves. Which is why we need to sell the first 1200 bottles of TreeWell in order to bring in the next shipment of glass bottles, natural cork, wire hoods, wax and labels for the remaining sap of the 2013 harvest.
Our team here at TreeWell have timed this Kickstarter to ensure that our rewards will be shipped in time for Christmas.
What is TreeWell?
TreeWell is a lightly carbonated maple sap beverage with a crisp, cold and subtly sweet taste. We package it in 750ml Champagne-style bottles with real cork and our wax seal. It's non-alcoholic, but mixes very well with a variety of spirits. (My favourite is Canadian Whiskey)
Maple sap is rich in phyto-nutrients, anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals. Furthermore, 54 beneficial compounds were recently discovered in Maple Syrup, which is composed of Maple sap, by Navindra Seeram of The University of Rhode Island. Read more at: http://www.uri.edu/news/releases/?id=5758.
The healthful claims relating to Maple sap are as old as the trees the sap comes from. We invite you to discover the restorative effects yourself.
When our friends and families started tasting what we had been working on, we were astonished that everyone had the same reaction. They would smell it, take a sip, furrow their brow and pause. Finally, they would smile, then say. “You know, this reminds me...” This happened time and time again and we heard story after story; peoples' sixth grade trip to the sugar bush; hay-rides and the smell of horses; that time they tasted ice cold sap as it poured from a metal bucket; or the Spring Saturdays spent working with their Grandfather, drinking sap in the hazy steam of a sugar shack.
It seemed that everyone had a maple memory to share.
We hope that you'll join us in sharing one of your maple memories, or perhaps, create a new one.
History of Maple Sap
Canada’s culinary tradition of using Maple sap goes back thousands of years to the first peoples of Canada, who drank maple sap every spring in rituals of renewal. They regarded Maple sap as a healthful tonic that soothed a variety of ailments.
Drinking tree sap is a tradition seen across the world, throughout Europe, Russia and the far East. In South Korea, they call Maple trees "Gorosoe", which means “Tree that’s good for the bones”.
TreeWell serves as an excellent "Sapéritif" before any meal, but seems to pair especially well with meats, cheeses and fruit. We've also found that it makes a superb base to many cocktails. Several of our reward tiers include "The TreeWell Recipe Book" which illustrates several recipes and pairings for TreeWell.
A Note on Shipping
Our product is expensive to ship. Glass is both heavy and breakable, which makes for large and weighty packages. Therefore we had to build in the cost of shipping these bottles to you, thanks for understanding.
The idea was born two years ago when my brothers and I borrowed the necessary equipment from the Conboys Maple Syrup Farm in Sharbot Lake to collect Maple sap. However, once we tasted the delicious, cold, crisp Maple sap straight from the tree, we abandoned our original plans of making syrup and unabashedly drank every last drop of our harvest.
Making it happen
The idea continued to bounce around in my head and after a lot of research and legwork; I took the plunge. In February of 2013 I started working on TreeWell full-time. Several weeks later, my former university roommate and good friend, Phillip Craig, joined the adventure and since then the team continues to grow. We were lucky enough to have a grove of trees to tap near Ottawa, thanks to Robin Hughes, that allowed us to gather sap early and come up with the TreeWell recipe.
With the help of Cassel Brewery, Carleton University and “SmallScaleBottling” in the UK, we came up with our recipe for TreeWell.
Finally, we sourced premium grade Maple sap from Golden Maples Farms in Lanark, and created our first batch of TreeWell.
Tyler Steeves, Founder
Phillip Craig, Vice President Operations
Mike Lalonde, Sales Director
Dan Gagnier, Technical Process Consultant
Jason Manion, Web Designer
Mark Rattle, Chemical Engineering Consultant
René Coignaud, French/English Translator
Will Smit, Graphic Designer
Michael Cumming, Videographer and Producer
Jasmine Bennett-Steeves, Jill of all trades
Michael, Jocelyne, Cody and Shane Steeves, Various.
We are so very appreciative of your support and for checking out our products. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.
Below is a list of people who have helped TreeWell along the way:.
Francois Bouchard - www.thecountrygrocer.com
Robin, Alex, Paige and Jon Hughes
Invest Ottawa – www.investottawa.ca
Matthew Wheeler – Golden Maples Farms
George Conboy – Conboy and Sons Maple Syrup
Yves Lavictoire - OMAFRA
Ray Bonenberg – www.ontariomaple.com
Dave Chapeskie – www.internationalmaplesyrupinstitute.com
Keith Harris - www.trollbridgecreek.ca/#!about-kiki/ckz9
Mike Kelland - http://tindr.ca/
Jonathan Luker - http://smallscalebottling.com/
Major Andrew Craig - www.majorcraigs.ca/
Alex Leslie - www.kickitdigital.com
Benjamin Bercier - www.casselbrewery.ca
Tom Lam - http://www.super-tom.com/
Rick Wedge – www.pulsarsigns.com
Deanna Scott-Robinson - www.rhodeswilliams.com
Kaci Saadi & Hélène Jouneau
Jean-Marc Duguay - http://jmdhomes.oreb.mlxchange.com/
Alexandra Zanella - http://www.revolutionorganics.com/
Alex Chaput - www.casaproductions.com
Richard Struthers - Sharbot Lake Marina
Kyle Bennett - www.kylebennett.ca/Welcome.html
Chelsey Bennett - http://chelseybennett.com/
Terry Desilets – www.branding-irons.biz
Joe Gorleski – www.veneersupplies.com
Michael Oxner - www.winemakeri.com/aboutus.asp
Jon, Janie, Rhys, Carys, Delyth, and Taflyn Tenthrorey
Sina Fattizzo – Tuscany Flooring
RG Transfer: www.rgtransfer.com
Linda Montone – Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa
Jennifer Carter – Le Cordon Bleu Ottawa
Martin Sinotte – The Beat Chemist
University of Ottawa:
Bruce Firestone - www.brucemfirestone.com/
Risks and challenges
We package TreeWell in glass, because it is the best material in the world to drink out of. However, glass breaks. So, we are taking special precautions when shipping our TreeWell bottles to absolutely minimize the chance of our beautiful glass bottles breaking.
On a yearly basis Maple Sap yield varies widely. Therefore it will be important to have multiple suppliers in order to maintain a sufficient supply of sap.
Why Maple sap varies? The production window of opportunity lasts between 2 and 6 weeks with an average of around 21 days of production per year. The volume of sap collected each year during this brief period also varies dramatically as there are specific pressure and temperature conditions that allow for optimal sap flow. In general sap flow is maximal when there are cool nights (-5 degrees Celsius) and warm days (+5 degrees Celsius). Once the temperature rises above 10 degrees Celsius during the day for a number of days in a row, the Maple trees start to bud, marking the end of the sap season. Sap collected after this period is called "Buddy Sap" and is not palatable once heated.
There is always the risk of production error in a bottling operation. By working closely with La Cité Collegiale we have continuously worked to minimimize this risk. Furthermore we have opted to use best practices from similar industries to learn from the success and mistakes of others.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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