Carrie Adkins-Ali / Masey & Leigh Ltd
Hometown: Audubon, PA
Carrie Adkins-Ali calls herself a reluctant entrepreneur. She initially started using real maple syrup as a healthier way to accommodate her sweet tooth. But when her brother, who owns a distillery nearby, told her that other distilleries were making barrel-aged maple syrup, she was instantly fascinated and wanted in. She ordered 5 gallons of maple syrup from a local provider and poured it in a bourbon barrel. Soon she was offering tastings at local events and her syrups were an instant hit.
She currently ages maple syrup in bourbon, rye whiskey, wheat whiskey and rum barrels. She also has a line of flavored syrups: vanilla, coffee, chai, saffron cardamom, bacon, chocolate and habanero. In addition to the syrups, she sells bourbon barrel-aged balsamic vinegar and whiskey barrel-aged sriracha.
The company name comes from her three daughters’ (Maliha, Sadie and Yasmine) first initials and her own middle name, Leigh. Her husband, daughters and father all pitch in with labeling and shipping so Carrie can attend to her day job as a magazine editor.