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Tony's Meats in Antigonish, Nova Scotia

Success in Antigonish: Tony's Meats

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Tony's Meats is one of eleven companies that will be recognized for their export success at the upcoming Nova Scotia Export Achievement Awards on Wednesday, June 14, at Pier 21 in Halifax.

Tony’s Meats is the only federally inspected meat-processing plant in Nova Scotia to achieve Safety Quality Food (SQF) Certification under the Global Food Safety Initiative.

Based in Antigonish, the company began in 1963 as a small, local operation, and now includes the Mr. Donair brand. Today, the company sells retail or food-services products in every province of Canada, and are now ready to expand into the United States.

Q: What factors have contributed to your success?
A: We are committed to producing high quality products under both the Tony’s Meats and Mr. Donair brands. The diversity in our product offerings along with new product development have played a key role in our ability to penetrate new markets across the country. 

We can also attribute success to a very aggressive marketing campaign that focused on maximizing brand awareness through communication channels such as social media. Event sponsorship has also allowed us to introduce our brands to a wider audience from coast to coast.

Q: What do you consider will be key to your success going forward?
A: A strong vision and strategy coupled with the right people within our business to execute the necessary steps along the way. Fostering relationships with key partners that share in our vision has always been integral to our success and will continue to be a focus as well.

Q: What has been your biggest learning moment?
A: Personally I have been with the business for 17 years and what I feel is necessary for success in this business (and possibly any business!) is having the right combination of persistence and patience along with a clear vision and strategy. 

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you would give to new exporters, or companies considering exporting from Nova Scotia?
A: I would say utilize the organizations and programs that exist to help you as a business owner achieve your export goals. Investigate the markets of interest and work to get the right partners in place in those markets.

Q: How important is exporting to your business?
A: Exporting is the number one focus of our business and has been for a number of years now. As we continue to adhere to the highest level of food safety and quality our cost to do business has increased tremendously, so we will need higher volume sales in larger markets to help offset these costs and create a sustainable future for the business.

Q: What’s the best thing about being a Nova Scotia exporter?
A: We are proud of our business and products but we are equally as proud to be able to make our home in Nova Scotia and create viable employment for our employees. 

Q: And finally, what’s next for Tony’s Meats?
A: We continue to look at other countries for exporting opportunities and have a number in mind. This was part of our long term strategy as we focused on cross-Canada promotions, and more recently the United States which we are now ready to take on.

Come celebrate Nova Scotia's top exporters at the Nova Scotia Export Achievement Awards on Wednesday, June 14. Purchase your tickets today!

Interested in export? Nova Scotia Business Inc. is dedicated to supporting the growth of business in Nova Scotia and our team of Regional Business Development Advisors is available to assess your needs and provide practical advice on taking your next steps toward growth in global markets.

Stay up to date on Nova Scotia export events by subscribing to our e-newsletter that includes upcoming trade development initiatives that you can participate in and highlights trade activity in Nova Scotia and beyond.