Jul 03 2019

Moo-vin’ on Up: Sugar Maple Jerseys Has Big Plans for Growth

Learn more about Sugar Maple Jerseys, one of the newest farmers to join our market this year. When you come to the market Sunday, make sure to check out its fabulous line of cheeses, meat, yogurt, butter and more! 
Heidi Kovacs has spent much of her life on dairy farms. So, it should come as no surprise that she knew Herb Dvoor, whose farm is now the headquarters of the Hunterdon Land Trust and the site of our Farmers’ Market.
“When I was managing cows up in Warren County, I would always talk to Herbie Dvoor,” said Heidi, who runs Sugar Maple Jerseys with her partner Rick Denbigh. “He was such a nice guy.”
When Sugar Maple Jerseys joined our Farmers’ Market in May, it was Heidi’s first trip to the Dvoor Farm.

A delicious assortment of cheeses is available at the Sugar Maple Jerseys stand.

Sugar Maple Jerseys has a delicious product line that includes an assortment of cheeses: raw milk cheddars and gouda, cream cheese, fresh cheddar cheese curds and feta. It also sells pasture-raised beef, including all-beef, nitrate-free hotdogs and cheddar jalapeño hotdogs; Greek-style yogurt; handmade butter; Jersey milk soaps and handmade lotions.
“I’m super excited to be at (HLT’s) Farmers’ Market,” she said. “I’m looking forward to developing a local following, and to building my farm store.”
To learn more about Sugar Maple Jerseys, I visited Heidi’s farm for a tour. Standing on a hillside, Heidi calls out to her cows who are in the grassy meadow about 50 yards away. The herd immediately turns and trots across the field to greet us.
“I grew up on a dairy farm,” Heidi says after greeting her herd. “I don’t think I realized how good a life it was until I got older. I’m not saying I didn’t like it, it’s just that was my life, and now, when I look back, I think how it was pretty cool growing up on a dairy farm.”
After a short time away, Heidi returned to the family farm and worked for her dad. For her 21st birthday, her parents gave her her first Jersey Cow. That gift set Heidi on her entrepreneurial career path that led to Sugar Maple Jerseys.
Photo of Heidi Kovacs

Heidi Kovacs

She would work, milk cows part-time and raise calves with her father. Six years ago she bought a herd of cows, and milked them for two years.
“I really have a love for Jersey Cows,” Heidi said. “I didn’t realize how much I loved them until I had an entire herd of Jerseys. They are so functional for me because they are smaller, and I can do a lot of work on my own with them. They are also better for grazing. And besides, there’s nothing I love more than seeing a cow eating grass out in a pasture — I just love it.”
We walk across the field and back to her farm store. About four years ago she started a modest cheese operation that continues to expand to exciting new varieties. Try them all: You are in for a real treat!
Heidi’s goal is to keep growing Sugar Maple Jerseys. The next giant step in the venture is moving 2.6 miles from its current Locktown Sergeantsville Road location to a charming farm off Route 604. She envisions the future farm becoming a destination site for agrotourism, where visitors can wander about, see cows getting milked and enjoy ice cream in a parlor she hopes someday to add.
“I always want to try new things,” Heidi said. “We’re really excited about the growth – our product-line growth, our improved labeling. We’ve really come a long way in four years.”
Store is currently located at 41 Locktown-Sergeantsville Road. Summer hours for the store are Friday 5:30 to 7 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to noon; Sundays, noon to 2 p.m.

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