The Eglinton Way is a neighbourhood where people have back yard BBQs and family dinners. We also have a great place to get healthy organic and local meats within walking distance. Tara Longo and Mario Fiorucci opened The Healthy Butcher on Queen Street in 2005. They now have a location on The Eglinton Way at 298 Eglinton Ave W, as well as a location in Kitchener, and an online store. Tara sat down with Sheliza from The Eglinton Way recently to give some insights into the organic food business.
The Eglinton Way: Tara, it’s a pleasure to profile your business. You’re so well-known across the city and in the local community here. Can you tell me about some of the local features of your business?
Tara: We source locally from over 70 Ontario farms, bringing in Ontario lamb, chicken, beef, pork, and turkey each week. Our Eglinton location is our commissary and provides products for all our locations and RealFoodToronto.com. We process our meats on site into products such as burgers, sausages, and prepared foods. Our produce and dairy are also organic and as local as possible. We carry a full selection of organic produce at our Eglinton location.
The Eglinton Way: Wow, I had no idea there was such a large community behind your business. And of course, everything is organic too.
Tara: Well, not everything is organic, but we source to find the cleanest products across the whole spectrum. For example, our beef is either 100% organic (no pesticides, herbicides, or animal by- products wind up in the food) or 100% grass-fed, which is very healthy for you and the planet!
The Eglinton Way: I remember trying one of the “Mamma Fiorucci” burgers for the first time this summer at the Allenby School funfair. It was hot off the grill and delicious. I picked up countless bottles of kombucha at the front counter in the summer too. Tell me about the digital side of your business?
Tara: It’s an e-grocery system that offers the same products you see at the Eglinton location with the same convenience as any other online system. From most parts of the city, if you order by 10am, you will have your order that evening. Saving time is very important to many Torontonians who do their grocery shopping at RealFoodToronto.com.
Tara: When it comes to holiday entertaining, I love the Harmony Organic Eggnog. It’s fantastic. I also love making charcuterie and cheese plates. I think it’s so easy, and impressive, with some handfuls of dried nuts or fruits. It is a wonderful way to kick start and evening!