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Oct 26, 2007 11:46 AM

Rowe Farms opening in Leslieville!

Around Queen and Logan, got it straight from the horse's mouth at a cocktail party last night. Very, very exciting news.

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  1. Not familiar with Rowe Farms, why is this exciting? Organic foods, free range meats, all or none of the above? :)

    1 Reply
    1. When? When? When? I'm so excited because I just live up the street, not even a 5 minute walk. Really happy I'll be able to buy grass-fed beef steaks so close. It may not be Argentine steaks, but certainly the best local juicy substitutes! :)

      1. More details please! After being disappointed (so far) with Lady & Son Butcher this is certainly excellent news.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Vise

          I'm not sure, I was chatting with a guy at a party, his firm invests in Rowe Farms amongst other companies. Probably be a while yet, I don't see any spots in that area in the midst of reno.

          1. re: Vise

            Do tell, Vise, what was the cause of your disappointment with Lady & Son? I love her free-range chicken, but have yet to buy some beef from her.

            1. re: singe

              I've bought lamb from Lady and Son and it was quite flavourful, she threw in extra meat for me too and some bones for soup. I cannot complain. I suspect, although they are still improving, most of the negative reviews came from early on. Thus far I personally haven't had a bad experience there.

          2. While a Rowe Farms store, assuming the rumours are true, will be a welcome addition to the neighbourhood, I am not trembling with excitement.

            I have tried, and been served, their products many times. I have never found their products impressive, from the unmarbled steaks to the very white chickens that appear water processed. I just had some Rowe Farms hamburger last night. Bought at the Pape IGA, it came in the high-tech packaging designed to extend shelf life. It smelled odd (not spoiled, but definitely odd). It tasted like ... lean hamburger.

            Their beautiful website is very clever - especially in what it does NOT say. Rowe farming practices sound wonderful, but I wonder whether their animals are raised under the conditions implied, and shown, on that website. The three cows posed against the beautiful autumnal background....

            Note that Rowe does not declare their products to be either "organic" or "natural". These terms can be wildly abused, but I still need to wonder about their absence. Methinks Rowe Farms has grown beyond the small family farm stage into an operation that, though still relatively small, is more of an "agribusiness".

            Their comments on nitrites are particularly galling. What they say isn't exactly untrue, but it is disingenuous to the extreme. I use nitrite in my homemade pastrami - because it doesn't taste right if I leave it out. I don't imply that I use this chemical because it is healthy or because it poses no risks. (I don't use it in corned beef because the resulting product, though a weird gray, tastes great without it.). Nitrite is NOT good for you, but deli products such as frankfurters that don't contain any tend to be awful. (BTW, celery juice is a great source of nitrites.) See food science guru Harold McGee's comments on this at:


            But, overall, I find that Rowe's products are marketing hype that are not high quality and just don't deliver on the taste front. For "humanely raised" meats that carry no claim of being either "organic" or natural", I'll go with Cumbrae's any time. I just hope that Stephen at Cumbrae's, whose enthusiasm for his product is infectious, doesn't get too big or greedy.

            1 Reply
            1. re: embee

              The Rowe site claims to have 100% air dried chicken. It is still indoor poultry (including eggs). The site rails on and on about nitrates in cured meats, but they have merely substituted nitrites, as in (almost) every other commercially available cured meat. I have heard of exceptions in Tenessee, and at Eigensinn, but not at Rowe.

            2. Please any new info yet? I'm sure a lot of people here would be interested in an update. Merry Christmas everyone!!! :)