In 1960, Mickey and Ginny Cochran moved their family from Burlington to a farmhouse at the bottom of a 150-acre hillside farm on the banks of the Winooski River in Richmond. They put in a few ski trails and a 300-foot rope tow to provide mid-week ski training for their children. Since then, their children went on to Olympic successes; the ski area expanded onto 600 acres; and a new generation — ten grandchildren — have gone from the same slopes to their own Olympic, collegiate and national success. The ski area remains active today with a racing team that still produces some of the best junior skiers in Vermont.
The original property is now owned by Mickey’s and Ginny’s children, who discovered in 2009 that in addition to the ski area, the land also included a healthy maple stand, with the potential for a 25,000 tap sugar bush. Four of the Cochran grandchildren – Doug, Jim, Roger and Tim – formed a new maple sugar business, Cochran Cousins, LLC, to make the most of this natural resource.
In 2010, with financing provided by VACC, Cochran Cousins, LLC. constructed a traditional post and beam sugar house adjacent to the ski lifts. They also installed the necessary sugaring equipment and a total of 5,400 taps.
With VACC financing assistance of $76,500 this year, the Cochran Cousins, LLC. are expanding their operation to 15,000 taps, also purchasing an additional releaser, sap storage, barrels and a storage unit for their family sugaring operation.
Cochran Cousins, LLC
Slopeside Syrup is hand crafted in Northern Vermont by four cousins on the land their grandparents’ have used to mold two generations of elite ski racers.
910 Cochran Road
Richmond, VT 05477-9780