Our Family Story

deb and i
When we got engaged and really started talking about our soon to be new life, of course one of the topics was family - how many kids, etc....  25 years later.... what a story!
Our family grew from three to six children soon after we moved to VT.  In order from closest to Deb there is Jackson, Zoe, Nehemiah, William, Christian, Naomi and Cooper. 
 
A bit more about us:

Wood's Syrup started as a dream....I had ALWAYS dreamed of being a maple syrup producer full-time but it wasn't something most of my friends and family considered a safe way to make a living. That led me to consider a teaching career as a student at Gordon College in Wenham, MA. I graduated 4 years later with a dual degree in Elementary and Middle School Education. While attending Gordon, I met and fell in love with Deborah Leigh Kiess, a sweet and joyful young woman from Dartmouth, MA. We fell fast for one another and knew within months, that we wanted to start and build a grand adventure together! We were married a year after graduation and began that grand adventure July 2,1994!

 

I continued to teach for 5 years in western MA until I could no longer ignore my inner Entrepreneur… While teaching we purchased 2 newspaper distributorships and 2 rental properties. This allowed me to leave my teaching position and become a full time entrepreneur.

 

We welcomed our first child in April of 1997, Nehemiah Connor Wood. What an incredible addition to our adventure! Deb and I were all in with the controlled chaos of being parents and could not wait to grow our family..... and 7 months later we were shocked but soooo excited to find out that we'd be welcoming our second child sooner than we had "planned"...Jackson Timothy Wood arrived August 1, 1998 and seamlessly blended into our daily lives with his calm, centered presence. Two years later we said hello to our "berry boy" (he LOVED fresh berries!), Christian Nolan Wood on June 28,2000! It felt like the puzzle piece that was missing from our family. Christian was the door on what we thought our family was meant to be....or so we thought!

 

In the spring of 2004, we felt it was the right timing to move our clan back to my hometown area, in Barnard, VT. We moved and still live in my grandparent's old home, April 16, 2004, with the idea that I would pursue my dream of turning the family’s maple sugaring “hobby” into a viable business.  

 

2005 led us to the next chapter of our family as we adopted 2 precious young girls, from Liberia, West Africa! Naomi Massa Wood 2 years old and Zoe Kollie Wood, 1. Naomi was a burst of sunshine with her infectious laugh and joy for the world around her.  Zoe was a light of confidence and love that brought calm to the chaos of our large family. 2007 brought our final addition! William Walker Wood joined our family at the age of 9 in July of 2007, also from Liberia, West Africa. His zest for life and fierce determination made our family stay on our toes and appreciate the view from Bill's eyes. And how fast he could run!!!!

 

We now have college-aged sons with the girls walking out their high school journey's. Our business continues to evolve and grow as our customers let us know what they need in way of products. We have been so privileged to meet so many incredible maple lovers/followers who have the fiercest loyalty that humbles us every day. My dream has come true as I craft this fine product in all it's golden forms! I continue to search for new ways to offer maple syrup as well as hold true to the pure craft of producing the most healthy and natural form of sugar out there! 

Naomi Massa Wood
3/5/2003-5/19/2020
I have some news that is hard to share.
Deb and I have been very blessed with 6 children,
3 of whom we adopted from Liberia, West Africa. 
On May 19, our sweet daughter Naomi passed away unexpectedly. She was 17, healthy, and looking forward to her senior year. She had just started a new residential school in Florida for young women who need a place where they can slow down, access therapy to help with mindsets and loss. They also develop new habits that build confidence in their abilities to make healthier choices for themselves. 
She wasn't feeling well that day and went to take a nap. 
Sadly, when the staff member went to check on her a second time, she was unresponsive. The autopsy was inconclusive. We now wait for toxicology reports to come back. Suicide and homicide were ruled out so we have peace knowing that much. We are so grateful for the staff and the love they gave Naomi in her short time there and we were excited for the direction she was finding for herself. 
We share this as some of you met our daughter and you are part of our "maple family". 
Naomi would travel with me to some shows, where she might've served some of you. She worked at our open houses in the spring, and you might've seen her there. It's been the hardest thing for our family to go through and still seems impossible. We are taking it day by day. 
Our family, friends, church members, and local community, have been such a support. It truly takes a village !!
Below are a few pictures of our daughter. 
Deb traveled to Liberia with here sister to pick up our two beautiful girls in 2005.
Deb, Naomi, Zoe
Zoe and Naomi with their beautiful braids and beads!
Easter 2020
Naomi's 8th grade graduation.
Selfies were always a hit!
Naomi, Zoe, Deb 
Naomi's infectious smile!
Naomi, I, and Nehemiah had ventured to Rhode Island for a seafood festival - we all wanted to go to the ocean - as there are none in VT:)
From there we met the rest of the family and friends in Acadia National Park - a yearly pilgrimage.
Naomi loved the beach - we didn't get there often enough.
This is Naomi at our 2019 open house. She loved the maple cotton candy!
Hold each other and your kids tight - it's easy to think time is endless.
We love you Naomi and will deeply miss your smiles, hugs, giggles - all of you!

 

We will continue to expand on our story in the years to come.   

 

We welcome questions and you can email us any time.   

Al@woodssyrup.com

8busybees@gmail.com