AJ Fletcher is unique among the first wave of food makers, creators, and producers offering homemade products at the Carriage House Café and General Store. As a current SUNY Cobleskill student, AJ runs his business, Fletcher Hill Syrup and Forest Products, while balancing his Agricultural Business studies. It is fair to say his schedule is jam-packed. “Syrup-packed” may be more appropriate.
Fletcher Hill manufactures syrups, maple infused sugars and cream, and pops. Maple candies are a top-seller at the Carriage House, and make a popular holiday gift. AJ hand-pours syrupy, sugary, maple mixture into leaf-shaped molds and, while aided by specialized machinery, the process is arduous. After he has poured each batch of candy mixture, the confections must cool and harden.
AJ is deeply-rooted in the SUNY Cobleskill community – something that has helped him market and grow his product line. On social media he is quick to point out pure maple syrup possesses higher antioxidant values than cantaloupe. He is also a member of the SUNY Cobleskill Woodsmen Team, which creates an excellent forum for AJ to showcase the maple leaf tattoo across his bicep.
As his products continue to sell, AJ plans to expand. While he is not making promises, he says he is brainstorming recipes for maple popcorn.
Feature photo: AJ Fletcher holds up a bag of his best seller: homemade maple candies, available at the Carriage House Café and General Store.