Our History

Behind the Name

Over twenty years ago, Eugene Powell, our founding partner, recognized the unique characteristics of the giraffe in the animal kingdom. Giraffes are very intelligent, agile and adapt well to changes. We chose this name over two decades ago to reflect our ability to answer the needs of our customers; we stand out from the crowd, stick our necks out for you and are “heads above” our competition. So there you have it!

A Multi-Generational Passion for Food

Since the early 19th century, food and agriculture have been at the heart of the Powell family. From the early days when our grandfather harvested dates and citrus fruits, to the custom-crafted sauce and dressing production of today, supplying delicious food products while caring for our valued team members have been key pillars in the foundation of our family business.

You could say we “cut our teeth” in foodservice as our family fed and cared for our loyal guests at the Mansion House, Canada’s longest-running licensed restaurant built in 1806. As the children of hard-working Canadian immigrants, we lived by the values our parents, Eugene & Efat Powell, instilled in us that drive our company today, to treat each customer as though they are welcome guests in your home and to work together to do whatever it takes to get the job done.

Creating Giraffe Beverages

After a successful run in the restaurant business which lasted close to two decades, we saw an opportunity to manufacture our own products. We set up our first small production plant in Burlington, a western suburb of Toronto, where we created national brand alternatives to popular foodservice items, including fountain beverage syrups (like cola and lime) and Zestferno™, our match for the popular branded aged cayenne pepper hot sauce. As our distribution spread across Canada and into upstate New York, the growing interest in custom-flavored products quickly became evident. 

Giraffe Beverages became Giraffe Foods as we rapidly expanded our custom flavor solutions , adding more diverse packaging options to meet the need of the growing foodservice community

Becoming Giraffe Foods

As our business grew, so did our family. Our spouses, Ellen and Ed joined Giraffe, offering their unique expertise in their respective fields. In no time at all, we quickly outgrew our Brampton production facility and opened in Mississauga, about fifteen minutes from the Toronto airport, where we now boast over 165,000 sq. feet of state-of-the-art manufacturing, development and warehouse facilities. From our three facilities, we continue to provide our delicious, chef-inspired sauces, dips and dressings. Our three facilities continue to flourish as we provide delicious products for the retail, foodservice and industrial sectors of the food industry.

Expansions & Acquisitions

In 2020, Giraffe Foods acquired Lounsbury Foods, a leader in North America for quality horseradish and cocktail sauce products. We are delighted to now offer extended manufacturing capabilities and ingredients such as horseradish and ginger. With a shared family history in Ontario and values of service and partnership, acquiring Lounsbury made perfect sense. With every expansion, we bring more opportunities to our customers.

Decades of Delicious

We are so proud to be where we are today and realize that it takes “a village”  to make great things happen. The values we learned from our parents—trust, integrity, resilience, teamwork, and giving back to the community—continue to motivate not only our family, but also our extended family and our dedicated team members as we service all sectors of the North American food industry.

From our family to yours, here’s wishing you good health, good food and good times now and always, 

Ari & Michell