Soils and climate matter too, and that’s one reason all our beef begins on a very special island called Manitoulin. Rising from the cold waters of Lake Huron in Ontario, Canada, Manitoulin is the largest freshwater island in the world. It’s also one of the world’s best places to raise beef. Blessed with a cool climate, calcium-rich limestone soils, ample freshwater and a forested landscape dotted with small grassland pastures, Manitoulin has produced some of the world’s finest cattle for more than a century. But as vital as geography is, it’s really just the start. You need to get intentional about breeding, feeding and aging to produce beef that delivers an exceptional eating experience every time. That’s why we developed the four-part approach that Pure Island beef is famous for:
Back in 1978, we began a decades-long breeding program to create exceptionally tender and flavourful grass-fed beef. Our herd includes Shorthorn and Black Angus cattle bred especially for flavour, tenderness, marbling and aging qualities. This puts us out of step with the way things are usually done in the beef business, but that’s okay. We believe that beef should be judged at the dinner table, not the weigh scales.
No beef ever reaches its full potential for flavour or tenderness without at least 30 days of dry aging. But you need to intentionally raise cattle so beef can be aged this long. And to be honest, not all the animals we raise end up with full aging potential. That’s why only the best of the best carries the Pure Island name.
All our cattle are carefully raised free of artificial hormones and without antibiotic feeds. We also do everything we can to ensure our animals are comfortable year-round and free to range on pasture whenever it’s available during the grazing season. It’s more trouble this way, but that’s just the way we do things. Our farm is always open for visits, too. Come and see for yourself. If you've never experienced Manitoulin, it's well worth the trip. The Island is not like any other farming area in Ontario. It's a surprising mix of farmland, forest, over 100 inland lakes right on the island itself, with limestone bedrock poking there here and there.
Only the best of the British breeds we raise meet our Pure Island standards. Farming is an art as well as a science, and all the beef that carries our name has been individually assessed and approved as meeting our taste and quality standards. In fact, we continually taste-test samples from our beef to make sure it meets our standards. What else can we do when we stake our reputation on your full enjoyment of Pure Island beef? Whatever you do, don't take our word for it. Pure Island beef has a special place in the fanciest butcher shops of Toronto. Click to read what our customers have to say.