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Jan 13, 2009 07:49 PM

What Has Rowe Farms Become?

It's well known, Rowe Farms has gone corporate. My friends have all stopped buying their products but I chose to give them a chance. Maybe going corporate is one way to make such products available to people outside major urban centers. They have their pledge on their web site and there is a video of people visiting one of the farms but when was that video made? Their eggs are from regular caged birds. Apparently the chickens are in quite large cages but who is checking this? Are the animals fed GM grains? I've wrote them an email and I have yet to hear back from them, it's been a few days, I'm still hoping, I want to believe in this company, has anyone done any research on them?

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  1. I don't know the answers to your questions but I remember seeing this article a while back -

    apparently they are owned by Investeco, a "green" investment company -

    1. What do you mean by gone corporate? I would imagine Rowe incorporated long ago for liability issues. It really just sounds like they have a private investor and are expanding. I would follow up on your email with a phone call or letter if you are concerned about the quality of the product (let us know how it goes). In the meantime, you could try Cumbrae if you're looking for an alternative.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Arcadiaseeker

        I can understand Chef Vagabond and him saying Rowe has gone "corporate" innuendo. Butcher shops should have a feeling of service. At Rowe Farms they tend to seal their meats in plastic which gives the purchase a different feel then going to Cumbraes and seeing fresh stuff touching air in the cold case.

        1. re: The Boss

          Actually, they have both. At the butcher counter, they'll cut to specification, though I don't know the extent of this service. And, you are right, they also have pre-packaged meats. I think they aspire to serve both markets; don't know how successfully they are doing it, but the place has been busy every time I've been in.

      2. Thanks for your responses and I will keep you posted as to what I hear back from them. My meaning of going corporate wasn't about becoming an incorporated company, of course, they've always been, I meant it in a self righteous sort of selling out to the man, man way.

        1. don't know what they were before but now they are the home of the $25-2 pound chicken

          1 Reply
          1. re: robgm

            Yeah their whole chickens are pricey... actually even the thighs and breasts separate are on the high end. However my wife and I have been and are still regulars getting the bulk of our meat for the week at their St. Lawrence stall. Yes some of the meat products are packaged, but the majority are not. I have found their whole chickens excellent roasting birds. They are full of flavour, roast very well and are quite tender. I've bought from other shops, but Rowe's chickens seem to be the most consistent in quality. I also buy pork shoulder from them (it was packaged in large cuts, but you can specify how much you want and they will cut it to size) to make pulled pork and each time the results were excellent. We even get our holiday roasts from them (turkey or goose). The birds always seem like they were just plucked. As for service it's always been great at the stall or even at their Leslieville store.

          2. There's nothing wrong with going corporate as long as they maintain their pledge of sustainable farming and keep producing high quality products. Yes, going corporate does sometimes mean that they change their farming practice, but again, if they continue to keep most of their original pledges then more power to them.

            While I'm a big supporter of shopping local and organic, it's important to have these companies go corporate because then they'll have the ability to reach more people. More reach = more chance for change.