The family at L’Orignal Packing could not have asked for a better way to cap off the company’s 50th year of operation.
L’Orignal Packing’s famed Mysterious Sausage was recently chosen as the winner of the Platinum Medal at Meat and Poultry Ontario’s 2022 Finest Meat Competition in the category of Sausages – Fresh Other. L’Orignal Packing also won Gold in the Kielbasa Sausage category.
The double wins completed a successful awards season for the company, which took home multiple medals, including the 2022 Excellence Award, at the Prescott-Russell Community Development Corporation’s Gala of Excellence, held on October 15.
The multiple medals come just as L’Orignal Packing completes its 50th year in operation. The facility on County Road 17 west of L’Orignal first opened on November 21, 1971, when founder Jean-Guy Bonneau moved from a small town in Québec. Bonneau purchased an existing small store with a butcher shop on what was then Highway 17, along with an adjoining house. He expanded the building into the start of L’Orignal Packing, adding a second much larger expansion in 1982.
Growing up in the family business
“I grew up in that house right there,” says Jean-Guy’s daughter, Christine Bonneau, pointing to a small home next to L’Orignal Packing.
Christine began working with her father as a young girl and took over the business along with her two brothers, when Jean-Guy retired in 2006. In 2013, Christine became the sole owner of the company – but Jean-Guy still provides guidance.
“You can’t buy experience, so he’s always around,” laughs Christine, noting that Jean-Guy still lives across the road from the business.
Since its beginnings 50 years ago, L’Orignal Packing has grown from a small store into a large meat-packing operation that distributes its products to restaurants, butcher shops, hospitals, nursing homes and independent grocery stores throughout Eastern Ontario and Québec.
The company’s business is split equally between distribution and sales directly to the public, from the storefront at L’Orignal Packing’s facility on County Road 17, west of L’Orignal.
“A lot of people don’t realize that we sell our products right here,” says Christine, whose smiling face greets customers as they enter the store.
Products at L’Orignal Packing are primarily sourced from local farms and industries within 100 kilometres of the facility.
“If it’s not available locally, we always try to source from Canadian suppliers,” Christine says.
Company famed for its smoked products
As its multiple award wins demonstrates, L’Orignal Packing is famed for its smoked products. The company operates its own smokehouse on-site to cure its award-winning sausages, pepperettes, bacon, jerky and hams.
“All of the products are made here from scratch,” Christine assures. “Products that are smoked are all made here right on-site from our own recipes.”
We’re the only commercial smokehouse in Prescott-Russell.”
L’Orignal Packing has always been run as a family operation and the tradition continues to this day for both customers and staff. The company has 18 employees, with an average of 15 years of loyal service.
“We are all about local food, but I’m a people person as well,” says Christine, of why she loves her work. “The people, the employees – we have a very strong family.”
A family experience
“When people walk into the store it’s like a family experience,” she adds. “The whole team is like a family and that’s what we project to the customers when they shop here.”
When you’ve been in business for 50 years, one sees a lot of familiar faces.
“We have customers who have been coming here forever,” Christine says. “I have customers who come in and say ‘I used to come here with my grandparents’.”
First-time visitors to L’Orignal Packing will find a vast array of products on display, but Christine and her staff are always available to help with selection. Anyone who comes into the store for the first time is encouraged to ask the staff for a personal tour of the products at L’Orignal Packing.
Tips for new customers
Christine offers a few tips for new visitors to the stores, suggesting items that help set L’Orignal Packing apart from other retailers.
“Our smoked products are something to try – our sausages are also something different than what you can find at a chain store,’ she suggests. “Homemade products are number one to us.”
Need a ham for Christmas dinner? For the past 15 years L’Orignal Packing has teamed up with the local Rotary Club to raise funds for needy families during the holidays.
“They sell over 1,000 of our hams at Christmas time,” Christine beams.
More information on L’Orignal Packing can be found by visiting the company’s webpage at https://lorignalpacking.ca/en/ , by phone at 613-675-4612, or through their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/LOrignal-Packing-256162511195236/ . You can also stop into the store at 2567 County Road 17 west of L’Orignal during regular hours from Monday through Saturday.