The history of Mitchell’s Gourmet Foods began as far back as the 1800s with the Mendel family. During this time, the family had fifteen meat packing facilities in different parts of Europe. The family’s business focused on selling canned ham all throughout Europe under the Europa brand.
In 1936, Fred Mendel started the first of several packing facilities in Australia. He also introduced the Mayfair brand to the market. Four years later, due to growing tension in his homeland in Europe, Fred Mendel decided to abandon his business there. He then came to Canada and constructed a building in the area of Saskatchewan. He started a new company, Intercontinental Packers, which focused on canned hams aimed at the US market. In 1944, the company prepared significant quantities of luncheon meats designated for the UN Reliefs and Rehabilitation Agency. This was the company’s way of helping post-war Europe, as well as its refugees.
By 1950, Intercontinental Packers was ready to expand. With this, the company purchased Prairie Packers along with their Vancouver facility 1964. During this same period, a man named Fred Mitchell was also starting to learn the ropes of running a business engaged in meatpacking. Fred Mitchell was the grandson of Fred Mendel and was one of the fifth generation of Mendel’s who was exposed to the business. In 1976, Fred Mitchell was elected president of the company.
Under Mitchell’s leadership, the company continued its tradition of leadership, quality and commitment to its employees. Soon, Intercontinental Packers grew to be the biggest value-added meat (pork, specifically) processor in Canada. In 1986, Fred Mitchell introduced a new line of products to the market, the Mitchell’s Gourmet Food range.
Twelve years after, Intercontinental Packers officially became Mitchell’s Gourmet Foods. A yearlater, Mitchell’s and another food processing company, Schneider Corporation, entered into an agreement of strategic alliance and expansion. In 2001, Mitchell’s opened a new processing facility, called the McLeod Plant. This facility contained state-of-the-art equipment that allowed the company to continue and even improve its standards in pork processing. Today, Mitchell’s continues to thrive and its tradition of providing high-quality meat products still goes on.
Headquarters: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Ownership Type: Private
Employees: Information not available
Demography: Foodservice companies, retail food product consumers
Mitchell’s Gourmet Foods