Peter Neal of NEAL BROTHERS FOODS: on building a successful food empire, his struggles with mental health, the importance of de-stigmatizing mental health issues, and so much more.

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Manage episode 297524498 series 2886315
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“An essential trait for any entrepreneur is the ability to recognize opportunity where others don’t but it’s the ability to act on that recognition that is essential for a successful entrepreneur” Peter Neal, Owner & Founder, Neal Brothers Foods

In 1988, fresh out of university and eager to make an impact, Peter and Chris Neal embarked on a journey that would change their lives and the lives of many others. It all started with an idea, curiosity, a desire to contribute and a letter from Peter to Chris suggesting they make croutons in their mom’s kitchen in Aurora, ON.

Believing in the importance of empathy and understanding that consumers’ tastes and needs were evolving as was their desire to trust the food they buy, the Neal Brothers set out to create a food company with delicious products consumers could feel good about. From the beginning, they’ve remained rooted in a commitment to delivering ‘goodness’ through their passion for tried and tested recipes and their purpose to actively help those living with food insecurity.

Fast forward 30 years, the successful Canadian-based Neal Brothers Food Brands and Neal Brothers Food Distribution companies are known as leaders in organic, specialty and natural food products. They are continuously challenging themselves and their partners to provide consumers with new and innovative products that will delight them. Most recently launching a Canadian made de-alcoholised beer with new technology that produces a far superior taste to the current competition.

Peter oversees Neal Brothers’ Brand Development, Marketing and Sales. In his role, he leads partnerships, sales, distribution and all marketing and communications activities. When away from his desk, and not mired in a pandemic, he relentlessly pursues the world looking for ‘what’s next’ in the food industry to delight Canadians.

Peter is also known for his commitment to helping innovative food and beverage companies succeed, regularly offering mentorship in entrepreneurship with empathy and is on the board of several start-up companies and not-for-profit organizations. 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. CFCC, an organization near and dear to the Neal Brothers family, helps food insecure Canadians through access to food, food-based education, education and other community services.

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