Primal Woods Newsletter Nr 1

John’s Friday Reflection

2018 December 21


And welcome to the first Friday Reflection Newsletter off my desk. If you are receiving this email, it is because you have patronized Primal Woods in the past, and for that I am eternally grateful. If you wish to Unsubscribe there is a link at the bottom of this email. I expect this will be a weekly Newsletter, some will attend to the goings on in the business, others will be more focused on sharing impactful information I’ve come across during the week.

Information Paths, Social Media, etc.

I enjoy Instagram and Facebook, and the Blog and YouTube are I think, very informative. Still, I was looking for a communications path that enabled more frequent information exchanges than are possible with the Blog and YouTube, and are more informative than our Instagram and Facebook posts. I think this Newsletter may be an answer. Do you agree? Let me know! Only through feedback can I improve. And now, my reflections on 2018, and a bit of the outlook for 2019.

Primal Woods

There has been a lot going on in the parent company this week, mostly in the office unfortunately! I set up new distribution of the Blog through Zoho Campaigns, Zoho is also our email “tool.” For the blog I was using Feedburner, which is a legacy Google product, no longer supported, and not very functional either. It was past time for Feedburner to go. But, and this is a lesson that applies to many aspects of business and life, any time you make a process change, even for the better, there is a drop in productivity as you, or the entire organization, climbs the learning curve. I’m still on the Campaigns learning curve to be sure.


The milling business is ramping down for the year, as designed, we will pick it up again after Maple Syrup season. That’s probably in early to mid-April. It was a great 2018, up over 60% in the number of jobs, and over 40% in revenue on 2017 totals.

As a result of this success, it’s likely that we will be upgrading the mill, significantly enhancing it’s productivity for the 2019 season. For portable milling customers this means the cost of milling will go down. For lumber customers it means that we can remain competitive in the market. I expect Sawyers to build on 2018’s results in 2019 as word spreads. I’m guessing we will have one of the only Wood-Mizer LT40 Super Hydraulic mills in Michigan. This upgrade basically doubles hydraulic fluid flow, increasing the speed of the machine’s log handling by a similar amount. I’m very much looking forward to the possibilities.


As with Sawyers, a major upgrade to our Sugarers‘ maple syruping equipment is in progress. We’ve made some upgrades to the Sugar House, and are incorporating a “Steam Away” in the sap evaporation process. According to our vendor, this should improve our efficiency by at least 50%; in other words we will be able to evaporate 50% more sap in the same amount of time, and using the same amount of firewood. Hence, we will be increasing the number of taps and buckets by 50%, from 500 to 750. It follows that our production should go from 100 gallons of maple syrup to 150; that should result in about 2,400 bottles of Primal Woods Pure Michigan Maple Syrup hitting the shelves in 2019. Bring it on!

Speaking of which, get yours today! Every little bit helps us to achieve The Purpose, and if you are onboard with that, please support us by laying in an ample supply, and by sharing with your friends and family. And did I fail to mention, Whiskey Barrel-Aged Maple Syrup is coming soon! It’s been in the barrel for two months, I’ll taste-test it (lucky me!) at 3 months and we will go from there. At the latest it should be available in March of 2019.


As has been the case from the open, Soapers has been lagging in the business development department. As it turns out, it’s no mean feat to “productionize” the making of lye from hardwood ashes. We made some progress this year in quantifying the content of the lye-water, thanks to some new lab equipment. More work to follow in 2019 for sure; this is one of the products I am most excited about finally getting to market.

Primal Health Coaching

If you’ve been following any of our social media feeds, you will know that I decided to take on the challenge of becoming a Primal Health Coach. And you have probably picked up on the fact that I am very passionate about health. It’s no coincidence that Health was a piece of The Purpose from the outset. I’ve published a few posts on the subject, you can find those here. I’ll receive my certification in January 2019, and you will certainly read more about it between now and then if you stay tuned.

Geri and I wish you all a very Merry Christmas. We hope you will join us on this epic journey called life!

With warm regards,