Who We Are

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From 1977-1980, John Omstead ran a popular roadside fish stand during the summer months, serving “the best fish in the area.”

Mission Statement
Our team is committed to servicing the retail and food industry sectors as a supplier of fresh water and imported European fresh and frozen fillets. We ensure our numerous fish species meet the quality and supply to the North America and European markets for the quality our customers expect.

Values

  • Developing and empowering our employees through training and communication
  • Partnering with suppliers to ensure all elements of our products maintain the high quality our customers expect.
  • Promote systems and processes that will cause quality and help us continuously improve
  • Maintain a common-sense approach to quality and service to ultimately achieve “best” in business rankings with our employees, suppliers, customers and regulatory agencies

Our Story- A Family Tradition

Owner and Founder John Omstead is a fourth generation member of the original Omstead family who established Omstead Fisheries in 1911 in the tiny fishing village of Wheatley, Ontario. Omstead Fisheries grew to become the largest freshwater fishery in the world.

In 1989 John Omstead started Family Tradition Foods and with a great team, built a high-end & unique frozen vegetable company, which encompassed the growing, processing, marketing & sales of the FTF brand. Family Tradition Foods farmed more than 2800 hectares of land across Southwestern Ontario and led the way in sustainable practices to ensure longevity of the soils. In 1994, supported by a long-term contract from Pillsbury to co-pack the Green Giant brand, FTF acquired the Tecumseh Green Giant plant. This acquisition also added production capacity to meet FTF’s brand growth. Between 1994 and 2003 the company peaked employment over 2,000 when including seasonal employees and sales of $100 million consolidated.John Omstead became known as “the market innovator.”

The Tecumseh plant was sold to Carriere Foods (PQ) in 2006 and is currently owned & operated by Bonduelle (France), the largest canned & frozen vegetable company in the world. The Tecumseh plant is far more secure than when threatened to be closed in 1993.

Now, more than 100 years later, John is keeping the freshwater fish legacy of the Omstead family alive:

“John O Foods” retains and operates its  55,000 sq. ft. frozen warehouse & fishing  processing facility in Wheatley. Over the last 15 years, John O Foods has become one of the best fresh water fish marketers and processors in North America, carrying a full line of both domestic and European Lakefish.”

 

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