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The Leadbetter Story |  Better Taste. Better Value. Since 1926

In the Family Tradition

Brothers Charles and John Leadbetter were butchers on the estate of the Earl of Ferrers, in Stowe by-Chartley, Staffordshire, England.  In 1905,  Charles followed his brother-in-law, James Taylor, a boat builder, to Toronto seeking a better life. His wife Florence and children Annie, Hilda, Jack and Harry and his brother John, followed the next year.

They settled in Toronto, but worked toward the dream of owning their own farm. They moved to the Markham area and worked the land for some years. In 1926 they went back into the family trade with the establishment of Leadbetter’s Butcher Store on Main Street, Markham, Ontario. The business thrived in the family name until 1998.

In 1974, Bill Leadbetter (son of Jack), moved his family from Markham to Washago, Ontario, and opened Leadbetter’s Meat Market. In 1981, Bill set up at a new location in Longford and grew it successfully until his son, Philip, took over the business in 1990.

Philip gradually expanded to include a processing and distribution plant. In 2001, with a new partner, Will Carson, a larger production facility was built in Orillia.

In 2005,  Canadian Food Inspection Agency certified Leadbetter Foods as a federally accredited food producer.

Leadbetter Foods now has 2 modern operations in the City of Orillia.


About Cowboy Steaks

In 1983, Bill developed a method of marinating a less costly cut of beef especially for the barbeque. These steaks were excellent value, consistently tender and flavourful . They became known as Cowboy Steaks.

The name was trademarked and the popularity of Cowboy Brand products continued to grow. They are now available in many retail outlets across the country. ... Always Great!