CRAPAUD, P.E.I. - South shore residents have a new option for buying local food.
The Larkin Bros. have opened a new retail storefront at the long-running Crapaud poultry processing plant, formerly known as Waddell’s Poultry Plant and Cannery, since taking over ownership of the location in March.
More than 100 members of the community stopped by during a grand opening last week, which saw the Larkin family host a barbecue and serve their signature turkey sausages and burgers that are made onsite.
“It really feels nice to have the community come out and support it. That’s a big thing, to come into a community, buy a business and have the community support you,” said Paul Larkin, who co-owns the company with his brother Harvey. “Everyday, people have been dropping by to say hello. It’s been a wonderful experience.
“We’re very proud to officially become part of the community and we have always felt very welcomed.”
The retail location, which will be open every Thursday and Friday from Noon to 6 p.m, offers turkeys, chickens, sausages, meatballs and other value-added products.
Tryon resident Sarah Macquarrie said the storefront is a welcome addition to the community.
“Absolutely. We need good food, it’s free range and they make their own food,” she said. “(The family is) very, very nice.”
The company began in the early 2000s when Paul and Harvey began growing turkeys with their father Roland.
It’s been steadily growing since then, especially after becoming incorporated in 2007.
“We had no idea we’d be producing 12,000 turkeys a year. It’s our goal to continue down that path to produce high quality, local poultry products starting from our farm and then process them here in Crapaud. High quality has been our mission since day one.”
“We had no idea we’d be producing 12,000 turkeys a year,” said Larkin, noting the turkeys are grown on the family’s New Glasgow farm and have always been processed in Crapaud. “It’s our goal to continue down that path to produce high quality, local poultry products starting from our farm and then process them here in Crapaud. High quality has been our mission since day one.”
Besides the new storefront, the family plans to keep running the plant in a similar fashion. They will continue to offer poultry processing, from hobby farmers with a few chickens to larger producers.
Despite “brothers” in the company’s name, Paul noted the business is a total family endeavour with heavy involvement from his wife Linda and Harvey’s wife Rosemary.
Rosemary said owning the plant will allow them to do more value-added processing, with the company also selling products to retailers, restaurants and directly to consumers at a Charlottetown Farmers Market booth.
“We can schedule making our sausages and meatballs better now that we own the building,” she said.
The plant has a long history in the community that stretches back decades — it was first used as a creamery before becoming a poultry plant.
For the past 30 years it has been owned by Gary and Simone Smith, who were at the opening to wish the Larkins good luck.
“It was our time to let it go, it feels really good. And all the best to the Larkins. They’re going to do a wonderful job,” said Simone.
Paul thanked their customers, as well as various government departments, that have helped them along the way.
“We truly appreciate their support and couldn’t have done it without them,” he said, while also thanking the company approximately 10 employees. “Our goal in this new endeavour is also to bring new jobs to the community as we continue to grow.”
More information on the company’s products and where to buy them can be found at Larkinbros.com