Irvings Farm Fresh is owned and operated by Nicola and Alan Irving.
In 2005, they decided to move to Canada from England and at first Alan was driving trucks while Nicola stayed at home with their young children. Having worked all her life, Nicola was restless and to keep herself busy she started selling eggs at their farm gate from the 75 laying hens she purchased.
After immigrating, they realized they couldn’t find the style of pork sausages they were used to in England and a friend suggested they should just make their own sausages. Nicola and Alan didn’t know how to make sausages but their friends encouraged them to try, so they began making some in their kitchen only for their own table. They enjoyed the process and the flavour so much, they started talking about how they could sell them and began to investigate what they needed to do to convert a room in their basement into a commercial kitchen.
With a course for sausage making geared towards hunters under her belt, Nicola sourced some local pork and began figuring out recipes. Coming from different parts of England, they started with sausages that represented their home areas: Lincolnshire and Cumberland sausage. They added a classic pork and leek sausage to their line up (typical of English pub fare) and a maple sausage as a nod to their Canadian customers.
They started going to a few markets and Irvings Farm Fresh took off! Soon enough they found that lots of expats were asking about when they were going to offer proper, British bacon. Nicola and Alan didn’t know how to make bacon, so on their next trip back to England, they visited a friend’s butcher shop and learned how to make traditional dry cured, English bacon.
Within their first year, Nicola was contacted by a local Berkshire pig farmer who was looking to sell. While Nicola and Alan had some background in agriculture, they had never raised pigs but they saw the opportunity as a good fit for their business and jumped right in. The learning curve was difficult, but they built up their experience quickly and eventually started breeding their own herd.
Soon, they started looking for more efficiencies in their business, finding a new, larger farm where they could house a butchering and processing facility onsite. Butchering onsite allowed them to start selling fresh cuts and since they control all their own processing within their facility, they’ve been able to specialize in allergen friendly products (ie. gluten free) by ensuring no allergens actually enter the building.
At their markets, they want their customers to really feel engaged with their products. They encourage them to open the coolers and find the cut that looks good to them and will best suit their own tastes.
Their aim is to bring more natural, less processed products to their customers. A big part of that is education of their customer base. They love talking with their customers and answering questions about their products and processes openly and honestly.
Did you know?
You can place an online order for Irvings Farm Fresh products through their website and pick up at Bountiful Farmers’ Market?
Products at Market
- Berkshire Pork Cuts
- Ham Products
- Bacon Products
- Sausage Products