Marie Hodgson right is retiring after 33 years at Wee Care handing over the administrator duties to Denise Wolm left. Hodgson started Wee Care in 1986 when she was 23 years old with eight kids in her care. Today the daycare is a not-for-profit caring for up to 58. /JENN WATT Staff

Maple Moon changes hands

By Angelica Ingram

Published Sept. 13 2016

A maple-infused business in Haliburton will continue its tradition of making maple wine as Moon Shadows Estate Winery and Maple Moon changes ownership.

The business on Highway 118 just a few kilometres out of the village has been sold by owners Eric and Carol Thompson and is now proudly owned by Silvio and Anna Mannarino.

The couple who have relocated from Newmarket  are excited about the possibilities of the business.

With a background in the hospitality and food services industry including working at the Four Seasons Hotel and Royal York Hotel in Toronto Silvio and his wife were looking for a change and to get out of the GTA.

“We’ve always had an eye on the area it’s a beautiful place to be” said Anna.

“We came across this winery and saw some great potential for the future” said Silvio.

The Mannarinos officially took possession of the business on Sept. 1 but are in the process of transition which the Thompsons are helping them through.

With an Italian background the couple who are both 50 would like to dabble more into the wine making business and expand into the French and Italian cuisine market.

“So if you’re coming in to sample the wine we’ll give you some food to pair it with” said Anna.

They are enthusiastic about continuing the maple tradition started by Eric and Carol.

“That’s the best part. We get to create with maple whether it’s the wine or baked goods or candy anything to do with maple” said Anna.

“That’s what intrigued us” said Silvio. “I’m looking forward to playing with different flavours.”

They plan to keep the name of the business the same.

The Thompsons started Maple Moon 14 years ago following careers in teaching and pharmaceuticals. They made the decision to sell as they were ready for retirement and a slower pace of life.

“We accomplished what we set out to do” said Carol. “Our idea was to have a winery so that was in the works when we started.”

The winery has been operating for the past 11 years and is one of the only producers of maple wine.

The Thompsons have lived in the area for 40 years and have no plans to move away. One of the things they will miss most about the business is the relationships they made over the years.

“The biggest thing we’ll miss is the customers” said Eric. “Some of them you only see once or twice in the summer … but you remember their faces.”

“That was hard: saying goodbye to them” said Carol. “Great customers great friends.”

“We’ve had a lot of them wishing us well” said Eric.

“But we’ve told them there’s new things coming [for the business] exciting things” said Carol.