Name: Peter Neal
Occupation: Co-owner Neal Brothers Foods
Connection to YR: I grew up in Unionville from 1967-1977 then Aurora from 1977-1993. My company has been located in York Region for more than 33 years.
What makes YR a great place to visit? York Region is a vast and incredibly diverse part of Ontario. A large part of the region is comprised of protected green space including the beautiful Oak Ridges Moraine. As a result there are spectacular outdoor recreation opportunities for everyone to enjoy. Walking, hiking, cycling, horseback riding, canoeing/kayaking, boating – there are limitless activities and only a short drive from Toronto! I also love the proximity to fresh produce from agriculturally-rich areas like the Holland Marsh.
What attractions or events in YR do you attend? I am a huge theme park fan and have always loved Canada’s Wonderland. My brother and I both worked there in our teens and, big surprise, we both worked in food! I try to visit at least once a year to get ‘my thrills in’ on some of their amazing rides!
What are some of your favourite restaurants in YR? Neal Brothers was located in Vaughan for 25 years and we watched that area grow from farmers’ fields to the booming metropolis it is today. One of our favourite restaurants in that area is Villa Di Manno – a true classic Italian hot table with 2-3 generations of family serving fresh, homemade Italian foods. My brother Chris and I ate there almost every day for years. We loved the food and the people who served it as much as we loved the sense of community in that vibrant setting!
Neal Brothers has been located in Richmond Hill for the past 5 years and we have loved so many of the local Asian restaurants including Magic Noodle and Pho Pad Thai. I’m also a big fan of Longo’s salad bar!
What are some of your favourite shops? My favourite shops are typically food retailers such as Longo’s, Maunders, Nature’s Emporium, Vince’s Market, Village Grocer etc!
What do you recommend friends do when they visit YR? I often recommend Lake Wilcox Park for a walk or cycle and if people want a quieter walk I’d recommend York Region Forest – plus a stop into King Cole Ducks for the best duck possible! In the winter we still love one of the many Christmas tree farms such as Horton’s tree farm to cut our tree, enjoy some hot chocolate and get out for a walk!
Bio: Peter oversees Neal Brothers’ Brand Development, Marketing and Sales – he relentlessly pursues the world looking for ‘what’s next’ in the food industry to delight Canadians. He is a passionate advocate and advisor for Community Food Centers Canada (CFCC) and the co-founder of the Good Food Builders program, through which like-minded food companies contribute much needed resources to CFCC each year. #SoGoodTogether