For Lou Albanese and the TMF Foods family, quality always comes first. TMF Foods, the proud producer of Lou’s Barbeque brand of fully cooked products, take pride in their creations and only use the best ingredients when developing their award winning recipes. Whether it be naturally smoked meat for commercial kitchen use or a meal prepared for Sunday family dinner, each “Lou’s” product aims to provide absolute diner satisfaction.
For over 35 years, TMF through the creation of the Lou’s Barbeque brand and Peameal Bacon of Canada products have provided Canadian families with nutritional, quick-and-easy home-style meals. These traditional family favorites, are produced in Stoney Creek, Ontario. They are designed to meet the needs of the modern robust lifestyle without sacrificing quality and flavour. Many of “Lou’s” meals can be prepared in under 10 minutes, yet each maintains the delicious flavour of an old-fashioned homemade dinner.
From the Ground Up
Founder and CEO Lou Albanese entered the meat industry at 15 years old at a beef-packing house. Ten years later, he was managing the company. Yet Lou increasingly noticed the need for quick, high-quality meals for consumers with fast-paced daily lives. He realized Canadians wanted to enjoy traditional meals, yet lacked the necessary time to prepare them. In 1978, Lou’s desire to remedy this need led to the establishment of TMF Foods.
Lou initially ran the business out of his home basement, yet the popularity of his creations soon warranted expansion. In 1982, Lou purchased a 3,500 square foot facility in Stoney Creek, Ontario. This state-of-the-art facility has now been expanded and upgraded several times, and currently covers approximately 90,000 square feet.
In the 1990s, Lou recognized Canadians’ increasing awareness of food safety. He decided the company’s next step would be to become formally recognized as one of the world’s safest food producers, thus providing his customers with every possible assurance. TMF became a federally inspected plant and earned the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) certification. The Company has also continually maintained a gold rating by the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s Lou’s Barbeque (LOU’S) was born. Lou recognized the need for fully cooked meal solution in both the foodservice and retail sector. As families continued to grow and began adopting the “On-the Go” lifestyle, time was becoming more of a factor when it came to meal options. “Lou’s” has also consciously expanded its market becoming one of the only Fully Cooked Retail brands recognized across the country, owning its respective category by increasing its market share to 65% and climbing.
Although the original product was produced for at-home family meals, popularity allowed the Company to begin selling to the food services industry. Lou’s creations are now available both through many national and international retail chains as well as in partnership with major food service providers.
Over the years, TMF Foods has undergone several significant changes. What once was a mini distributor that mainly focused on steaks and burgers has now streamlined its business through the creation of fully cooked “Lou’s” brand and Peameal Bacon of Canada. But through the changes the Company has always remained dedicated to producing the same high-quality meals it was founded upon. As proclaimed by Lou Albanese’s personal and Company’s slogan: “Absolutely great quality, I guarantee it!”
Bringing Quality Meals to the Canadian Family’s Table
“Lou’s” mission is to bring traditional home cooked-style dinners to the tables of busy Canadian families. Lou’s products are no different than the meals he serves his children and grandchildren.
“Lou’s Barbeque is all about quality,” Executive Vice President Dameion Albanese explains in an October 2014 CBJ interview. “These are the kind of meals that people could replicate at home.”
Unlike many other frozen meats, which use liquid smoke formulas to imitate flavours, all of Lou’s products can be found in the fresh counter and are naturally smoked. Although this process is significantly more time consuming, it results in superior taste and higher quality meals.
A recent study of Canadian meat product, developers found that Lou’s Barbeque entrees were the highest quality among industry competitors. According to Dameion Albanese, this is due to the Company’s dedication to sourcing only the best raw materials without using fillers, chemicals (liquid smoke), non-meat products, and excess water in its dishes.
“We will never take short cuts when developing our products,” Dameion Albanese notes. “This is something our customers have realized and appreciate. We won’t sacrifice taste, and we won’t compromise results.”
As with all successful companies, TMF Foods is dedicated to continually improving its product. In 2013, the Company began design and installation of its new, state-of-the-art, fully functioning industrial kitchen.
Here, buyers and consumers can come learn just how “Lou’s” products are created. Visitors can take part in the development process, preparing the Company’s meals from start to finish. The kitchen also provides a training ground for students enrolled in local colleges to enhance their studies and gain comprehensive hands on experience.
Every day, Lou’s Barbeque continues to gain the trust and support of consumers across Canada. Its products are safe, unique, and above all else, delicious. Through maintaining its dedication to innovative meals and quality foods, “Lou’s” is solidifying its place as a staple at today’s Canadian family dinner table.
For more information on Lou’s Barbeque, please visit: www.lousbbq.ca.
For more information on TMF Inc., please visit: www.tmffoods.com.