Our mission: to raise and craft the highest quality artisan meats, meals, snacks and treats using clean ingredients and local products. We are a family, a farm, and proud members of your community. And we’ve been here for quite some time. So how did the farm shoppe come to be?
The McArthur family, originally from Scotland, arrived in Canada (in the Caledon area) in 1871, where they established a herd of dairy cattle. The other side of our family, the Newhouses, were Empire Loyalists; they’ve been farming in Canada for more than two centuries.
Gord’s father, Don McArthur, passed away in 1962 (when Gord was just seven) and the dairy herd was sold. Helen, Gord’s mother, later married Glen McBride (who also had a dairy herd), and this is how Gord came to live on the farm that today is the home of Heatherlea Farm Shoppe and our black angus herd.
Gords’ passion was beef cattle. When Glen’s dairy herd was sold, Gord took to raising registered Aberdeen Black Angus cattle for their quality meat. The Angus cattle breed is native to Scotland, with the first of the Angus breed having been introduced to Guelph, Ontario in 1860.
Our farm, Heatherlea Acres, located on the Niagara Escarpment and within in Green Belt, is perfectly suited for the production of a cow-calf operation and grass-fed beef. The cows can harvest grass from the rough terrain that large eight-wheel farm tractors cannot maneuver over.
Time marches on…
As the young McArthur family grew over the years, sides and quarters of beef were occasionally sold to friends and family. It wasn’t until a short foray into running a bed & breakfast in 2007 that the potential to open a farm-gate market truly became apparent. The local food movement was blossoming and the requests for naturally-raised meat was increasing. So in May 2009, with their fingers crossed, Gord and his wife Pat closed the B&B; they put a freezer in the garage with a small wooden desk and a tin cash box. It was the opening of Heatherlea Farm Market.
It didn’t take long for customers to ask for local chicken and pork, in addition to the beef, that were drug-free. Over the last five years, the store has grown to take over three rooms of the family farm-house to hold frozen meats (including local lamb, bison, emu, and fish), produce, eggs, cheese, dairy, and other locally-sourced fine foods. To fulfill Pat’s talent and passion for cooking, a regionally inspected kitchen was added in July 2011 in an outer building to produce value-added, from-scratch meals and baked goods using home-raised and local ingredients.
In 2009, Gord’s son Don came back to work on the farm to help his dear ol’ dad. It was then that his wife, Melinda, joined the family business too. Melinda, who was also raised locally, is passionate about education in clean, healthy eating and lifestyle.
Today, an idea that grew from necessity to support the family farm and herd has turned into our full-time shoppe that allows us to share our delicious, healthy, local, clean food with our larger community!