Retailer Profile: Highland Packers




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Retailer Profile: Highland Packers

  • 11 December 2017

“Genuine meat specialists”

With a long family history of working in the meat industry dating back to 1920s Holland, immigrant brothers John, Mike, and Benny de Jonge began running Highland Packers in Stoney Creek, Ontario in 1958. 

In 2005, Marinus de Jonge, his wife Janneke and their four children – Fred, Nick, Janet and Edwin – took over Highland Packers and Highland Country Markets. For nearly 60 years, this family business has served southern Ontario in retail and wholesale, earning them the reputation of genuine meat specialists.

Their philosophy? “Offer only the freshest, highest quality products, at the lowest possible price.”

“Once a customer shops at Highland Country Markets and experiences our helpful and knowledgeable staff,” says President Marinus DeJonge. “They will begin to see the difference in shopping for their meat at a butcher shop versus shopping at a grocery store.” 


The benefits of your own packing plant

From early on, Highland Packers quickly earned a reputation of providing fresh meat and meat products. This reputation is still true today and is seen through a loyal customer base who continuously return to shop in the retail store. 

Highland Country Markets is located adjacent to the Highland Packers plant, a unique feature that allows the store to continually provide customers with the freshest meat products. The provincial plant operates only while government inspectors are on site, ensuring the ultimate in food safety.

Because of this, shopping at Highland Packers and Highland Country Markets is a unique experience for new and returning customers due to the wide range of services offered. 

“We are not limited to only providing quality meats,” says Marinus. “Our plant and retail store are able to provide our customers with many services such as de-boning, grinding, and pre-cooking.”

And with their own smokehouse, Highland Packers creates items such as bacon, hams, gourmet wieners, kielbossa, sausages, deli meats, pepperoni sticks and much more.  

“We believe that by educating our customers on how we work directly with local farmers and businesses in Ontario, we can set ourselves apart from our competitors.” 

3 approaches to the meat case that have made all the difference

Highland Packers takes pride in being able to satisfy all of their customers’ needs by sourcing from local farmers and using a unique approach to bringing quality meat products to customers:

  • Wide selection: They have one of the largest full service meat counters in Ontario, stocked with fresh pork, beef, veal, lamb and chicken.
  • Unique cuts: Since their retail store is located adjacent to the Highland plant, they can provide customers with hard-to-find meat items: pig feet, hocks, tails, ears, snouts, organs and more.
  • Knowledgeable staff: Their master butchers and service clerks are always available to answer any requests that customers may have, such as custom cutting and wrapping, cooking instructions and specialty cuts. 

Everything’s better with bacon

Highland uses its own recipes for a huge range of products – and that includes bacon, bacon, and more bacon.

“Customers return again and again for our bacon. We offer sliced bacon, diced bacon, peameal bacon and thick cut-texas style bacon,” describes Marinus.

In fact, the Hamilton Spectator has awarded Highland Packers with numerous reader’s choice awards over the years: platinum, gold, and diamond for favourite butcher shop, favourite frozen food and farm market, and favourite local and family owned meat market store, in the Ancaster, Dundas, Hamilton Mountain, and Stoney Creek area. 

The local guarantee

How does using local Ontario pork help Highland Packers?

“Our customers are interested in knowing where their food comes from,” says Marinus. “Each customer has a different set of questions and these can all be answered because we work so closely with our local farmers.”

By selling local Ontario pork to both wholesale and retail customers, Highland Packers can assure both groups that they are purchasing fresh meat and meat products. And through working directly with local farmers, the business supports the local economy and, in turn, its own community.

Says Marinus, “We would like to thank all the local farmers that we work with in Ontario for supplying us with local meat and to thank our customers for supporting a local family business that is able to employ so many great people for nearly 60 years.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. 


Visit Highland Packers and Highland Country Markets online to learn more – or even better, go see them in person!

Categories: Retailer profiles
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Ontario Pork represents the 1,192 farmers who market 5.41 million hogs in the province. The organization is engaged in many areas, including research, government representation, environmental issues, consumer education and food quality assurance.

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