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Kingston and Canadian Food

Market Square, Kingston, Queen’s Archives
Market Square, Kingston, Queen’s Archives

Today, Kingston is known for its vibrant, first-class restaurants, cafes, and eateries and it has the highest number of quality restaurants per capita of any Canadian city. Foodies can find delicious locally grown produce and meats and other local foods and drinks proudly featured on menus and sold at local markets and retail outlets.

But the Kingston’s contributions to good food do not end there.

Kingston was once home to W.J. Crothers Biscuits and Confectionary Manufacturers, a family-owned and operated candy company located downtown on Wellington Street. W.J. Crothers was one of the most prestigious companies in North America. During its period of peak production between 1867 and 1967, the company employed 200 residents and made more than 100 varieties of candies, chocolates, and biscuits. The aromas of caramelizing sugar, buttery biscuits, and creamy chocolate wafted throughout the downtown core, making it one of Kingston’s most popular businesses of the time. W.J. Crothers’ products were extremely successful in Canadian and international markets alike and were shipped all over the world. The firm’s chocolate products were so highly regarded that, from 1920 onwards, their “Prince of Wales Chocolates” were produced by Royal Appointment to His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales (King Edward VIII). The Crown awarded W.J. Crothers this recognition in acknowledgement of Canada’s service to Britain during World War I.

Kingston Market Vegetables, Great Waterway
Kingston Market Vegetables, Great Waterway

Kingston’s role as an important producer of food and consumables continues today. Frulact, a Portuguese fruit-processing company, has recently established itself in the Limestone City and, in one of the City’s biggest economic developments, Kingston will soon be home to Canada Royal Milk – a division of Feihe International Inc., China’s number one domestic producer of infant formula. The formula made in the Kingston factory will be shipped worldwide.

Kingston is at the heart of Canada’s story - shaping our past and building our future.

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