Schinkel’s Legacy in Chatham-Kent processes and distributes quality meat across Ontario. Its name captures the significance of the Schinkel’s story and the example that the Schinkel family has inspired us with: support our community and local businesses.
The Future of Your Family
The Schinkel legacy began in Canada when Tunis Schinkel and his wife Elizabeth immigrated with nine of their ten children. Tunis was a successful business owner in Utrecht, Holland, but he was uncomfortable with his children’s prospects under the social regime of that time. He desired to pave the way to a better future for generations after him, and North America was promoted as the “Land of Opportunity”. In 1953, the Schinkels came to Canada, settling in Amherstburg, Ontario.
When Hard Work and Entrepreneurial Spirit “Meat”
When the Schinkels immigrated, Tunis was fifty-one-years-old. Not only was he confronted with the challenges of adjusting to a new country and lifestyle, but he also faced challenges with being an immigrant. However, the family was willing to work hard at any job, and Tunis’ sons Herman and Gerry ended up working at a slaughterhouse, where they would learn the art of meat processing.
Working at the slaughterhouse, Herman and Gerry both longed to become their own bosses, so in 1962, when Robert’s Meat Market in Essex went up for sale, the brothers courageously purchased the business. As the sons of an entrepreneur, their entrepreneurial spirit was nurtured from a young age. However, the experience of immigrating certainly helped to cultivate their willingness to work hard, persevere and take a leap of faith, which ultimately led to the establishment of Schinkel’s Meat Market Ltd.
Schinkel’s Meat Market Ltd. expanded to Chatham-Kent in 1984. Herman managed this location, while Gerry stayed in Essex. Both businesses retail raw cuts of meat from animals raised in southwestern Ontario.
In 1992 Schinkel’s Legacy was established to produce and distribute cured, cooked, and smoked meats for retail. Now, independent grocery stores from Windsor to Kingston to Owen Sound carry the Schinkel’s name. The business is currently managed by Herman’s son Tim Schinkel.
The Makings of a Legacy
Legacies are about what you leave behind and about what you pass on. Tunis Schinkel’s legacy is strong because he and his wife were motivated by the generation after them. This is true for most immigrants; in most cases, they relocate in order to benefit their children. Tunis modelled entrepreneurship for his children, which explains why seven of his the children are now involved in their own businesses.
Now the manager of Schinkel’s Legacy, Tim testifies that being raised by an entrepreneur father taught him to enjoy work. He also inherited a desire to work for himself and the ambition to start new endeavours, even those apart from his family’s ventures.
Chatham-Kent has also played a major role in the Schinkel legacy. Newcomers to Chatham-Kent faced struggles, but were blessed to find support in one another. For the Schinkels, the large Dutch community in Chatham-Kent, attracted by the Chatham Christian Schools, became a supportive extended family to support their endeavours.
Today in Chatham-Kent, everyone has the opportunity to be part of this kind of community by committing to support local businesses. We don’t need to be from the same country of origin. We are citizens of Chatham-Kent and when our businesses thrive; our economy, community, and future generations have the opportunity to benefit too. There is a Chatham-Kent legacy to be built, and we’re all a part of that.