Hills Foods and Shaw Family Farms hosted a barbecue for Vancouver's top chefs and food company executives at Shaw's Aldergrove farm on Monday (Sept. 28). The farm is operated by the Shaw family

All-natural farm takes bite out of city market

Aldergrove farm has found a profitable niche in providing a "close to home" fresh lamb and pork to high-end restaurants and meat shops

An Aldergrove farm has found a profitable niche in providing a “close to home” fresh lamb and pork to high-end restaurants and meat shops in the Whistler-Vancouver region.

Jamie Shaw is carrying on the family tradition established by his late father Ron in 1967, who started the Shaw Family Farm in Willoughby. The farm raised mostly cattle, but after relocating to Aldergrove in 1998 the family diversified, first in raising lambs and sheep, then wild boars and heritage pigs.

Ron passed away almost 11 years ago, but his wife Darlene remains very active in working on the farm. Jamie, now aged 46, still has a day job but has consistently and methodically expanded the farm, and has also brought his wife Serena and daughter Brooklyn into the day-to-day operations.

“We started small. I have 28 acres here but I also lease a total of 150 acres,” said Jamie.

“I raise about 200 pigs and 200 lambs a year, but my goal is 600 of each. They’re all naturally raised on pasture, and we feed them fruits and vegetables — peppers and cukes, apples — so we raise happy pigs.”

There are similar farm operations elsewhere in B.C. but it’s the only one of its type in the Lower Mainland, which has made the farm’s products highly desirable in the Vancouver-Whistler region. The Shaw family’s pork and lamb are truly “100 mile diet” products.

“You can tell it’s special when you bite into it,” said Mark Hills, who for the past couple of years has been marketing the farm’s products through his Hills Foods company.

“The price point is higher but it’s the only free-range lamb in the Fraser Valley and appeals to those who want it as close to home as possible.”

Hills started out in the meat business 28 years ago “before buffalo and venison became mainstream” and has built it up to a 12,000 square foot distribution centre in Coquitlam today.

“We provide a unique finished product and can do custom work,” said Hills. “We have 26 employees, including meat cutters, so we can provide burgers, sliders and so on. We can also sell whole carcasses, or split them, depending on what the buyers need.”

On Monday, Sept. 28, under a beautiful Indian summer sun, Hills Foods hosted a outdoor barbecue for Vancouver’s top chefs and food company executives at Shaw Family Farms in Aldergrove, featuring the local, naturally raised pork and lamb from the farm. Local wines and beers were also offered by Domaine de Chaberton and Parallel 49 Brewers.

Several dozen guests were also treated to a full tour of the farm.

“All pigs and lambs are raised free-range outside and in a hormone-free and stress-free environment, creating a superior product that leaves you wanting more,” said Jamie Shaw.

All lambs and pigs at Shaw Family Farms are raised free-range on pasture in a stress-free and hormone-free environment and fed a variety of fruits and vegetables in addition to grain supplements.

Just Posted

Everyone invited to Extreme Home Repair ‘reveal’ in Langley Monday

A block party with bouncy castles and treats begins at the Adam’s home on 32A Avenue at 4:30 p.m.

Aldergrove family ecstatic over child’s recovery

Jaylene Prime and her family ‘pays back’ with juvenile arthritis fundraiser

VIDEO: May Day parade in Fort Langley

Crowds pack the streets to view 96th annual edition of annual march

Video: house fire in Langley Township

Monday morning fire spread from house to trees

Fire at abandoned home for second time in over a month

Crews called out early Monday morning to blaze in Abbotsford

VIDEO: After the floods, comes the cleanup as Grand Forks rebuilds

Business owners in downtown wonder how long it will take for things to go back to normal

UPDATE: Woman dies in ocean accident near Tofino hours before daughter’s wedding

“We are so thankful to everyone who helped our mom.”

Olympian sues USA Swimming, saying it failed to protect her

Ariana Kukors Smith alleges her former coach Sean Hutchison began grooming her for sexual abuse at the age of 13

Defence minister thanks troops for B.C. flood relief work

Harjit Sajjan says not only was military response quick, support from locals has been ‘tremendous’

McPhee in boxing spotlight

‘Turmoil on 200th’ Pro Am Boxing event at Langley Events Centre

Fraser Valley Symphony ends 34th season

‘Romantic Rendezvous’ features Michelle Mares on piano on June 2

‘Find Your Fit’ at Aldergrove career event

Students and general community sessions set for Aldergrove Secondary

Arrest made in last week’s double shooting in East Van

Carleton Stevens, 37, is charged with attempted murder and remains in custody

Couple survives being buried in mudslide on B.C. highway

The couple, from Saskatchewan, were en route to Nelson when a tree fell in their path

Most Read