The storefront, which is operated in a custom-built “micro barn” style building on their home farm at 12280 Croton Line, Croton, will offer customers a wide selection of premium-quality cuts of ethically raised, hormone and antibiotic-free, beef and lamb. The store will initially be open Fridays and Saturdays, and by appointment Monday to Thursday, with specific hours of operation being made available on social media and on-site signage.
“People from the area will remember the old Croton General Store and how much it meant to have local business in this community. J&E Meats is bringing a new millennial twist to that old-fashioned local store idea and I think this is a win for all of Chatham-Kent,” said Darrin Canniff, Chatham-Kent Mayor. “They have done an excellent job of making this a community location by also partnering with other local vendors such as The Pickle Station, Mrs. D’s Canned Good, and Lucky Squirrel Gourmet Nuts. It’s this type of creative thinking that is setting the pace for the next generation of entrepreneur.”
The Butler’s believe in honouring a tradition of using only the most ethical and honest animal husbandry practices. Their animals are raised in open-concept, airy, well lit, government inspected barns where they always have access to fresh water and food. The animals are fed a specific ration of crops they grow right on their own farm, to ensure animal health and ensure product quality.
“Our customers not only love our products for taste and the high quality, but also because they have peace of mind of knowing where their food comes from,” said Emma Butler, Co-owner of J&E Meats. “We only sell meat from animals we have raised here on our farm ourselves; this guarantees quality as well as accountability.”
“We implement biosecurity measures to ensure the health of all of our animals, as well as use electronic traceability through RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags to trace our animals from birth, to freezer,” add Emma. “It’s the meal we feed our family and the same we are offering to families across Southwestern Ontario.”
The heritage of farming runs deep with in Butler family. Josh’s grandfather purchased the property in 1938, and collectively the Harold Butler family is managing and operating an extensive cow calf operation, beef feedlot start to finish, over 200 head of sheep, and over 1200 acres of crops. Josh and Emma are continuing the tradition of family farming by raising the fourth generation of Butlers in the family’s 100-year-old farmhouse.
“J&E Meats keeps us busy, but it’s our hope that it will provide a sustainable option for our kids. Even though they are both under two years old, we are working hard to show them how to care for the land, the animals, and the environment,” said Emma. “Some days it can be exhausting, but it’s all worth it because we love our farm, our customers, and being a part of the community. This isn’t a job, it’s our way of life.”
“I’ve known Josh and Emma for quite a while now and they are a great team both as business owners and also as a family,” said Spencer Pray, Economic Development Officer for Chatham-Kent Economic Development. “I look forward to helping them move their business forward and being a resource they can call on as they start thinking about the next stages of investing in Chatham-Kent.”
In addition to being a local supplier, the Butler’s also pride themselves in supporting local businesses and connecting with as many local resources as possible.
“Nearly every aspect of our farming operation including animal care, seed, equipment purchases, and butchering is sourced from within 100 km of our farm. We work with an accredited veterinarian from Blenheim to ensure whole herd health; a team of agronomists from around the Chatham-Kent area to ensure we grow the most nutrient-rich crops for our feed; and a registered and government inspected abattoir,” said Emma. “We are passionate and dedicated to sharing our farm to table story. It’s important to us that the public to feels comfortable asking questions, learning, and becoming more aware of what they are putting in their bodies and feeding their families."
For more information about J&E Meats, special announcement, store hours, and more, visit them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jandemeats, follow them on Instagram @jandemeats, or call or text them at 519-381-4057.
Cutting the ribbon at J&E Meats to celebrate the new location in Croton. (Left to right – Spencer Pray, Mayor Darrin Canniff, Councillor Steve Pinsonneault, Josh and Emma Butler with their two children)
Marketing and Communications Officer
Economic Development Services, Community Development
Municipality of Chatham-Kent
315 King Street West
Chatham, ON N7M 5K8
Phone: 519.352.8401 x2039