I have always wanted to find a butcher shop not too far from where I live that sells quality products but to be quite honest, I haven’t had much luck in Milton. I always had to venture out to find some quality products but I really wanted to look for a farm that you can also see the welfare of the animals.
I have been following Heatherlea Farm for quite some time on social media and I love how they share everything from how they raise their cows to educating the public about different cuts of meats, their transparency is really awesome! I knew I had to check them out!
A few weeks ago, I headed out to Caledon (Which is only a 45 minute drive from Toronto) to visit Heatherlea Farm and the family behind this amazing place! The Heatherlea Farm Shoppe opened in 2009 after running a bed and breakfast at the farm for a few years. The local food movement was emerging and the demand for naturally raised meat was increasing. Visitors of the bed and breakfast really enjoyed the meats and steaks from the farm and often ask the owners, Pat and Gord how they can get their hands on the farm products regularly. This is when the Heatherlea Farm Shoppe was born and boy are we glad they did! Pat and Gord’s son, Don and his wife Melinda and their family also joined the farm and together they have taken Heatherlea Farm to whole new heights – bringing us delicious drinks, food, an amazing butchery and also a shop that supports and sells local goodies.
The goal of Heatherlea Farm is “to raise and craft the highest quality foods using clean ingredients and local food”, Melinda passionately told me. “Their farm shoppe allows the farmers, butchers and staff to connect with their consumers to agriculture and provide some education around local food and farming!” This is probably my favourite thing about Heatherlea Farm. They really take the time and effort to educate the public about where their food comes from. It great to see how proud they are of the products that comes out of their farm and store which is such a refreshing thing to see. I am a strong believer of educating people about food and I am happy to see other businesses are doing the same.
If you are interested in learning more about the farm and about butchery in general. Heatherlea Farm not only runs butchery and canning/cooking classes, they also do tasting nights where you have an opportunity to enjoy a farm to table meal and learn and taste beef that have been aged for various times. (These tastings gets sold out very quickly so if you are interested, book right away!)
So let me tell you more about the butcher part of the store. Melinda shared with me what they envisioned the butchery to look like, “We wanted to bring back the old school butcher shop, with meat hanging in the windows (of the aging room). Being a nose to tail butchery, we are able to offer customers obscure cuts, custom cutting, offals, custom dry aging (up to 60, 90, 140 days). Our butchers are very knowledgeable so they are able to provide cooking tips and suggestions to customers (a more personal experience then you might find purchasing in a big chain).” If you want to nerd out of all things meat, this is the place to be! The butchers will be happy to chat with you about the perfect cut of meat for any occasion!
If you are like me and like to see how the animals are raised, rest assure Heatherlea Farm takes care of their animals very well! The cows are roaming around the farm freely enjoying themselves and they are never crowded! Looks like a very good life!
They also have an amazing cafe area where they serve delicious coffee and made from scratch food! Since many people who visit Heatherlea Farm are travelling from the GTA, they decided to create a beautiful sit down spot for people to sit and enjoy a fresh cup of coffee and some delicious food.
I was lucky enough to try a sample of their products from the butcher. Everything was super fresh, full of flavour and the quality was beyond amazing! I tried their amazing Apple Maple Sausage (the flavours were unreal!!! Probably the best sausage I’ve had!), Braised Beef Burger (Super juicy and full of flavour!), Beef Bacon (the perfect alternative to pork bacon! These bacon were thick and delicious!) and something I have never tried before – a Denver Steak. (Denver Steak is not a very common cut of meat since it is usually ground up into ground beef at a regular grocery store. But this cut of meat is getting more popular and it comes from the shoulder of the cow. It is actually very tender and tastes amazing!! If you see this cut, GET IT!)
I am so thrilled to have found a butcher that is relatively close to me that sells really great products. If you have a chance to come out to Caledon, Heatherlea Farm is a place you have to check out!
Do you have a favourite butcher you go to? Comment below, I would love to see your favourite spots!