“I always feel like I’m eating when I’m reading. And the need to read is like an awful raging hunger”
The way some people crave knowledge, adventure, and life, as a Canadian, I crave roaming with purpose. Creating and selling gives me this purpose in abundance. And when you roam Canada, you can’t help but get hungry, be driven by an endless curiosity,the immenseness of this land overwhelming you. It's awe inspiring. It's exhausting. It’s everything. With this hunger to roam and to create and sell, Meatsmith was slowly born.
You can see our love for this country with the way we’ve invested our work everywhere we can. Our company is based in Burlington, Ontario, we source products and ingredients across this country. One of our key relationships is in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. Another is in Calgary, Alberta. I have driven to both spots, making stops along the way, looking for a place to happen as they say. Sticking to Highway 1, Calgary to Antigonish is 4857 km. For perspective, the distance from Oslo, Norway to Athens, Greece is a paltry 3374 KM. And Calgary to Antigonish is nowhere near the breadth or depth of this Country. From coast to coast to coast, Canada is undeniably magnificent.
And yet, when most people think of Canada, they picture some mismatched collage of Banff, Quebec City, Peggy's Cove, Iqaluit, the CN Tower, and the Niagara Falls. But for those of us who have driven from say Saskatoon to Calgary, what you realize about Canada is that it is so much more than these handful of monuments. Much of what you’ll see is beautiful grasslands, and numerous farms. Because you typically don't drive through First Nations Land, the farms you see are farms belonging to new Canadians - myself being one of them. My family on my father’s side settled in the Ottawa valley and have farmed there since the 1850's. Oftentimes in Canadian history, we determined one way or another where immigrants would settle based on their country of origin, something you can see in the diversity of ethnicities and cultures prevalent post-French & English Canada. Represented by the names emblazoned on the sides of barns, Ukrainian names in Manitoba, Polish in the Valley, Scots in Cape Breton, Irish everywhere, post WW2 Dutch throughout SW Ontario, etc. In retrospect, the expansion of farming in Canada tells a remarkable story of our waves of immigration and our shifting attitudes towards the people coming. What was created in this way was a combination of culture and geography, which over the years has led, in my mind, to the gift that is Canadian Beef.
Unlike gas station beef jerky which is blended with cuts to reduce cost, Meatsmith bars pack in the goodness of homemade jerky at prices competitive to beef jerky. Meatsmith, the evolution of a premium, portable, craft beef snack evolved first from my own lifestyle. It came from my passion for food, for creating but also from necessity.