Arts on the Square Spotlight: Meet Lisa of Burke's Maple Farm and Tina a.k.a. The Baklava Lady

Sunday, July 14, 2013
It was super sweet to get to know two incredible artisan food vendors; Burke's Maple Farm and The Baklava Lady.  You will want to stop by and sample some of their sweet and delicious artisan treats at Arts on the Square!

First Up, Lisa of Burke's Maple Farm

Hi Lisa!

Tell us a little about your company and what inspired you to start it.

We are blessed to own 200 beautiful acres of land. My husband, a farmer at heart, wanted to use the land we have for livestock. I wasn't keen on the idea, so he went to the woods to pout and realized we had acres of maple trees. He knew I grew up with my grandfather making maple syrup in southwestern New York, so since it was in my family line, we decided to carry on the tradition of "sugarin'." What started in 2001 as a hobby with 100 taps has grown into a full-fledged maple farm with 1200 taps and the production of a full kitchen of sweet maple products. 
We sell mostly from our house and local craft shows, church bazaars, and events; we also have several locations that carry our maple syrup which can be found on our website under "sweet merchants."

Where are you located? Tell us about your farm.  

Our maple farm with God's own sweet trees is located just north of Carbondale, near beautiful Crystal Lake and minutes away from Elk Mountain Resort.  We take pride in maintaining the beautiful land we've been blessed with and are proud to carry on the age-old tradition of hand-crafting maple syrup.

What is your favorite thing about your job

I love teaching people about the health benefits of using maple syrup! It contains a host of vitamins and minerals essential to healthy living. You can improve your health by replacing your refined sugars with maple syrup or maple sugar.

What will you be featuring at the Arts on the Square festival? 

We will have our pure maple syrup, maple glazed walnuts, pecans, &
almonds, maple candy, maple cream, maple sugar, and some tasty maple baked goods.

Where can people find you locally? 

We can be found at our home [or we will deliver] and at any of the "sweet merchants" listed on our website.  We also host a Maple Tour & Open House the third weekend in March. All are welcome to see the process from tree to your table.

Is there any other information you would like us to share/highlight about you or your business? 

We are very excited to bring our "art" to Scranton and invite everyone to visit our stand for a delightful sample of our goodies!

Next up, Tina Profka a.k.a. The Baklava Lady! 

Hi Tina!

Tell us a little about your company and what inspired you to start it.

I really have only started this past fall. Throughout the years, I only made Baklava for Christmas. Though it is delicious, it is also costly and time consuming. I would make cookie tins for close friends and neighbors and include it with a few other homemade items. I got tons of compliments, but you know how it is, you think maybe people are just being nice, or its all the holiday cheer talking! But then a friend of mine offered an empty spot at the Leesport Craft Fair and I threw some pastries together and sold out both days! I never thought to make it on a regular basis along with other desserts and sell them for a livelihood. It would be great if this became something bigger someday!

How did you learn to bake?

Like all little kids, I remember watching everyone else bake while I got to be the official taste tester! As I got older, I would just try my hand at things. I learned a lot from my mother in law, and spent some time working at a bakery. In college I studied Graphic design, so creating things with my hands is a part of me. And I love to cook and bake; this is the perfect marriage of both. Its makes me happy when I see people enjoying the things I've made.

What will you be featuring at the Arts on the Square festival?

My signature dessert is Baklava; most people recognize the name and have tasted it. My focus for this festival are Greek pastries which include: Kourambiedies, Finikia, and Koulourikia. Though I do create other traditional desserts for other venues.

What is your most popular baked good?

That varies depending on the time of year. Baklava is always a favorite, but during the fall pumpkin rolls and cookies are the stars! Traditional goodies like T.D.F. Brownies (To Die For), and Chocolate Chip Pecan sell all the time as well.

Where can people find you locally?

You can find me on FaceBook at The Baklava Lady. I am also doing a lot of craft shows this year, and on off weekends I visit the Garden Drive In located in Nanticoke. And I always post where I'll be heading on facebook!

Follow Burke’s Maple Farm:
Location:  1313 Crystal Lake Rd, Carbondale PA  18407
Facebook: burkesmaplefarm

Follow The Baklava Lady:
Location: Scranton, PA
Facebook: The Baklava Lady

Follow Arts on the Square & ScrantonMade:
Twitter:  ScrantonMade
Instagram: @scrantonmade_blog
Pinterest: ScrantonMade

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