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Tony's Meats - Mr. Donair in Nova Scotia, Canada

The Global Donair: Tony's Meats

Thursday, July 27, 2017

"To get into the US market, we have to educate Americans on what a donair is. The market is so big, we’d be crazy not to go there.” - Aaron Tingley, Tony's Meats

Tony’s Meats is the only meat-processing plant in Nova Scotia to achieve Safe Quality Food (SQF) Level-2 Certification under the Global Food Safety Initiative. They sell fresh and processed meat products to large and independent grocery retailers and the food services sector across Canada.

Why Nova Scotia?
Originally known as the Antigonish Abattoir Limited, Tony’s Meats was founded in 1963. The Tony’s Meats brand was launched in 1987 to serve the Atlantic Canadian food services and grocery retailers, and in 2005 the company acquired the Mr. Donair brand. Tony’s Meats’ headquarters and processing plant are in Antigonish, where they employ 55 people.

What challenges have you faced and overcome?
Tony’s Meats has begun an aggressive exporting strategy. It has expanded its flagship Mr. Donair brand into retail markets across Canada, and with a recent Halal certification it has begun to explore new domestic markets. The company’s greatest challenge may be yet to come: bringing Nova Scotia’s famous donair to the United States (US).

Entering the hyper-competitive US food services market requires tight strategy and good business connections, but the rewards for success are high.

Considering export? Companies that export do better than companies that don't. They make more sales, have higher profits, and stay in business longer. Find out how NSBI can help

Where NSBI comes in.
In 2016, with the support of NSBI and other partners, Tony’s Meats participated in the National Restaurant Association show in Chicago. The company made valuable industry and market connections that would help them market and sell donairs in the US.

“The people at NSBI have been unbelievably good to work with. They’re there to help, they’re hands on, and they know what they’re doing. They play a key role in helping us break into the US.”

A future in Nova Scotia.
Tony’s Meats is confident of its future success in the US. “I met distributors, restaurant publications, owners, buyers, and key decision makers. I have a list of people we can look to as we work to expand our donair line into the US."

Interested in export? Nova Scotia Business Inc. is dedicated to supporting the growth of business in Nova Scotia and our team of Regional Business Development Advisors is available to assess your needs and provide practical advice on taking your next steps toward growth in global markets.

Nova Scotia businesses like Tony's Meats are focused on building a strong and thriving community for today and for generations to come. We’re proud to be able to support them. Our 2016 - 2017 Annual Report tells their stories. View the full report.