Mark and Anna McCutcheon
By Beef Farmers of Ontario
Mark and Anna McCutcheon own and operate Teal’s Meats, a family run butcher shop in Springvale, ON. This year Teal’s Meats is celebrating 100 years in business, a tradition Mark and Anna are proud to continue. In 2009, Mark and Anna purchased the butcher shop including a small farm near Anna’s family farm, Bennville Limousin. Mark and Anna have slowly worked to expand the business which originally produced only pork sausage, to include a full line of meat products. They seized the opportunity to add beef and to source their products from their family’s herd of cattle.
Anna’s parents, Ferdinand and Anita Haupt farm in Haldimand County where they diligently grew their farming business and raised their family of 5 children. Growing up, Anna, together with her mother and sisters enjoyed working with the cattle. They would attend many local fairs with 4-H project animals as well as tending to the day to day care of the cattle. The family farm also consists of a cash crop operation growing corn, soybeans and wheat as well as an equine facility, boarding and importing high quality Hanoverian horses.
On farm today, Anna’s mother, Anita, operates the cow herd along with her youngest sister Greta (who is also involved with the horse training along with her father). Her sister Niki and husband, Ian have begun to take on the cash crop end of the family farm, working together with her mother and father. Anna and Mark complete the family business by marketing and selling the quality beef produced on farm from their butcher shop.
Bennville Limousin is a herd of purebred Limousin cattle, where a strong focus has always been breeding stock. The health of the cattle and providing a comfortable environment is also very important. The Haupt and McCutcheon families realize that along with genetics, the environment in which cattle are kept is very important for them to meet their full potential. The herd grazes pasture for as much of the year as possible. In the winter months they are housed in deep bedded, sheltered barns with access to a large yard for exercise and are fed high quality hays and baylage. Calves are kept and finished on the farm on a diet of corn that is grown on farm, protein supplement and free choice hay and baylage.
Being able to take an animal from birth through to the dinner table is highly rewarding to Anna and Mark. Customers wish to know where their meat is coming from and how it is raised and appreciate the connection to the farm that Teal’s Meats is able to offer. Along with this, a main focus of Teal’s Meats is to provide a consistent and very high quality product. Their customer base returns on a weekly basis to buy their meats from the butcher shop and have come to enjoy the consistently tender and juicy beef that they are able to purchase and enjoy from Teal’s Meats.
Being a “mom and pop” shop, operated by only Anna and Mark, they are able to interact with customers face to face and answer their questions to understand what is important to them. They value this relationship with consumers as it is something that many farmers never get to experience. It gives insight into where their consumers are coming from and allows Anna and Mark the opportunity to share the day to day activities on the farm and the care that goes into raising livestock. Mark and Anna have three young daughters and love being able to work from home and having their children about their day to day business.
Teal’s Meats has a retail outlet on farm as well as attends the Ottawa Street Farmers’ Market in Hamilton. Their products are also available at other locations in Southwestern Ontario. To learn more visit Teal’s Meats and Bennville Limousin online, as well as their Twitter and Facebook pages.