Neal Brothers Inc.
Neal Brothers Foods was launched in the spring of 1988 by brothers Chris and Peter Neal. Peter, attending Bishop's University at the time, contacted big brother Chris at Queen's University and suggested a summer challenge! The challenge: to start a business and have a consumer product available on retailers shelves before July 1st.
The brothers met up in mom's Aurora, Ontario kitchen during reading week that year and started brainstorming. The original idea was to produce Kettle style potato chips as Peter had seen in New England from Cape Cod Potato Chips but a number of competitors had a head start and the start-up capital was out of reach…Peter still had one year left at Bishops! They put the K.I.S.S. principal to work and came up with ‘"Croutons! Croutons!" Homemade croutons made in mom's kitchen, hand tied with ribbons and labels hand-written by mom.
Production grew out of the home kitchen quickly and moved into a local bakery. Chris and Peter were literally working around the clock and 20 hours days were becoming the norm because the product was so labour intensive. Eventually the brothers sat down and made a hard decision; shut down the manufacturing, find a bigger company to produce the croutons and focus on marketing and distribution.
This decision paved the way for more products under a new name, Neal Brothers. Neal Brothers expanded their product offering into Tortilla chips, Salsa, Potato Chips, etc...
In 1995, the business changed again and Neal Brothers became a distributor and began selling Chatham Village croutons, the first "non-Neal Brothers" food item.
Neal Brothers had always insisted on healthier foods and avoided artificial flavours and colours. For years they had tried to find organic ingredients for their Neal Brothers items. In the early 1990's the only item they could source was an Organic Blue Corn Tortilla. This became a very popular item and the brothers wanted to add to the organic lineup; however, sourcing ingredients was difficult at the time. Fortunately organics have become more popular and more available, Neal Brothers has been able to grow their organic offering to include such items as; Popcorn, Pretzels, Tortillas and Salsas!