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Chris Neal - Neal Brothers

2024 Aurora Honouree

chris neal aurora honouree

The kitchen is said to be “the heart of the home”, and for Chris Neal and his family, their childhood family kitchen is where it all began.  They’ve called Aurora home since 1977 and in 1988 Chris and Peter began producing croutons as a business, “right out of mom’s kitchen”.

Neal Brothers’ which is now a brand, a distributor, and household name, helped to spearhead the organic food movement in Canada with unparalleled standards and practices, leading the industry and the consumer in a healthier direction.  In addition to donating food products and personal time, a portion of Neal Brothers’ profits gets donated to community food centres across the country via Community Food Centres Canada, a national organization working to combat food insecurity. 

Generosity was a strong and early value Chris credits his parents for teaching him and his two brothers, through the giving of their own time and money within the community and beyond.  Chris quotes, “It takes both (time and money) to make a difference”.  As a food-based local business owner, along with his brother (Peter) and wife (Wendy), one of the key focuses is food insecurity.  A devoted and appreciated member of the Aurora Food Pantry’s Board of Directors, Chris keeps his finger on the pulse of what’s important to him and steps up often, in many ways.

Southlake Hospital in Newmarket holds a special place in Chris & Wendy’s hearts.  Their twin daughters were born there, and an early relationship of appreciation and support was established.  Eleven years later, back at Southlake, one of the girls was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, which only deepened their resolve to “do more”. 

In the 11+ years since her diagnoses, their family has raised more than $250,000.00 for Juvenile Diabetes Research.  They (Wendy & Chris) just finished their time as the Community Leads for The Southlake Maternal Child Program, their Homeward Campaign to raise much needed funds for the ICU.

Making a difference where you can and affecting change where you see it needed is a very rewarding life.  The Neal Brothers’ dream was to create a culture of respect and as such, the team is very aligned in core values.  The synergy that exists is much like family – always taking them into consideration before making big decisions and often involving them in the decisions that need to be made.  Mental health and wellness are open and appreciated topics of discussion at work and at home.  If one of us is not OK, most of us can step up, and we do.  Staying the course, together.

Growing businesses like Neal Brothers Brands Inc., Crank Coffee, and Jonluca Neal (a national natural foods distribution business based out of Vaughan and Vancouver) has allowed Chris to pour his passions, products, time, and monetary resources directly into the industries and organizations that he wholeheartedly believes in.

Through kindness, generosity, and willingness to make a difference, Chris Neal reminds us of the profound difference one person can make in the lives and communities of others.



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