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Turkey producer gives thanks for growing business and Island support

Paul Larkin, half of the Larkin Bros., is proud to produce local turkeys and process the meat on the Island.
Paul Larkin, half of the Larkin Bros., is proud to produce local turkeys and process the meat on the Island.

HUNTER RIVER, P.E.I. - With Thanksgiving weekend here, Paul and Harvey Larkin are looking at about 1,400 orders for their locally produced turkeys.

“We’ve been at this about 20 years, when Dad started producing turkeys for small numbers. But about eight to 10 years ago we grew to 10,000 a year,” said Paul, half of the Island business, The Larkin Bros.

As the business grew, the brothers decided on their own branding and marketing, from barn to store.

“We keep the birds on the Island. Instead of shipping them off, we process them at our facility in Crapaud. It’s nice to have a product in stores we grew and processed on the Island.

“It’s important to support local businesses and food producers. It feels good to produce a product that Islanders like. We wouldn’t be at the volume we are now if it wasn’t for the local communities.”

Each season brings a different level of demand, with Thanksgiving doubling that of Easter while Christmas demand is double Thanksgiving.

The Larkin Bros. keeps their birds in barns with 12 by 12 doors and windows for air to come in and out. And the bird feed is not medicated.

“Some birds in other places won’t get to see the light of day, but not here. We knew for our birds they should be able to see the sun and get fresh air. It’s very important,” said Paul.

“Mother nature is the best thing for our birds. We want to look after them as best we can and keep them happy.”

Through the years it has been word of mouth and conscientious buyers who have helped the business grow.

“There’s a big movement for people to buy local. I think a lot of people are becoming more conscientious of where their bird is coming from. And a lot of people look forward to a fresh, local bird on Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas.”

The Larkin Bros. turkeys are available in various Atlantic Superstore and Sobeys locations as well as Save Easys and farmers’ markets.

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