Who says business isn’t personal? Gwillimdale Farms is family owned and operated by The Hambly’s. Our President, John and his children are 4th and 5th generation farmers.
But we do more than grow vegetables, we keep growing our business too. Today, we are one of Ontario’s largest growers, packers & shippers of fresh root vegetables. We grow on over 1,000 acres, primarily based in Bradford, Ontario, just north of Toronto (part of the Greenbelt). To deliver clean, fresh produce we wash & pack on three packing lines. When busy, we can produce 250,000 lbs of vegetables each day. We also own our own transport trucks so that our deliveries to retail and foodservice partners are reliable. This is accomplished by the hard work of our exceptional team and reliable partners.
Isn't a carrot, just a carrot?
We honestly believe that our carrots, potatoes, parsnips, onions and beets are THE BEST. And we aren’t alone. In addition to the letters we get daily from happy customers, we also conducted blind taste testing with consumers to see what they thought. Our carrots were described as tasting more “crisp, fresh and sweet” compared to others in the study.
Why? It starts with our soil. Our nutrient-rich soil is mineral based which we believe helps us grow delicious food. We also use natural compost and strict crop rotation to prevent pest issues and soil nutrient depletion. Crops that are grown in a field one year are transferred to a different area the following year. This is completed on a continuous rotating cycle, so that no one area has the same crops grown there within 4-5 years.
Planning for the future
Our most recent adventure is taking us North, where we recently starting growing in the rich black muck found in Northern Ontario. Our team has ambitious goals for continuous and sustainable growth.
Check back for updates as they become available!
Beyond our commitment to the land, we are always working to improve our processes throughout our business. All of our building lights are on motion sensors/timers, and we have installed “fresh air systems” to reduce electricity consumption in refrigerated storage areas. New solar panel installations provide sufficient power for half of our packing facility. We also participated in a food waste reduction initiative with the Ontario Produce Marketing Association to identify and further reduce waste in our business.
News stories from Gwillimdale Farms
The Future of Family Farming
"Gwillimdale Farms in Bradford West Gwillimbury is another family farm that has embraced innovation. John Hambly, fourth generation farmer, said hi...
Natural (Beeswax) Food Wrap Giveaway Rules
The Gwillimdale Family wants to say THANK YOU for following along with our adventures this year, so we’re giving away ONE pack of Natural (Beeswax) Fo...
Doors Open Offer Glimpse into Historic Agricultural Locations
We were so happy to be part of Doors Open Ontario last weekend. This provincial heritage program asks participating communities to throw open the door...
Bradford’s Gwillimdale Farms a Family Affair Gone Global
Our crops are ready to harvest but that's not all that we've been growing this year! We’re always investing in new technology! Our new $2-million, 4,...
Frequently Asked Questions
Currently, we are sold mainly in Ontario foodservice (restaurants) and retail outlets. You will find us regularly in Metro, Food Basics, Giant Tiger and many independent retailers. Restaurants like Pickle Barrel and B.Good have featured us in their own marketing as valued suppliers.
Sorry but we don’t currently offer a farm-gate service to consumers directly.
No, all of the vegetables we grow are not genetically modified.
We use potable water that is cleaned using a natural ozone system, as opposed to added chemicals.
We currently do not grow an organic range though we do take extra steps to minimize our impact on the environment. For example, we use natural compost to improve crop yields and to provide a more organic source of nutrients for the soil. The use of beneficial insects like ladybugs help to keep pest populations to a minimum. A commitment to crop rotation also helps us to naturally prevent pest issues and soil nutrient depletion.
Yes, though we do wash our produce it is recommended that all fresh fruits and vegetables be washed before consumption. Wash vegetables thoroughly under fresh, cool, running water and use a clean produce brush to scrub items like carrots, parsnips and potatoes. Onions tend to be one vegetable that is not washed before use, primarily because the outer skin in peeled away and removed before consumption. For more tips, visit Produce Safety on Canada.ca.
We supply large retailers and foodservice distributors year round so need to import produce when our own locally grown vegetables are unavailable. Learn “What’s in Season“.