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Millers MeatsBy MYRON LOVE
After a hiatus of ten years, fresh kosher meat is again available in Winnipeg.

Beginning this week, fresh kosher chicken, turkey, beef, veal, lamb and goat meat are available at two locations – Miller’s Meats at Grant and Kenaston and the Carver’s Knife on Regent across from Kildonan Place. The meat, which will also be available for Passover, is being cut and packaged at The Carver’s Knife under the supervision of a Winnipeg Va’ad Hakashrut mashgiach supervised by the Adas-Yeshurun Herzlia’s Rabbi Yossi Benarroch.
“I have been in touch with (New Jersey-based) Rabbi (Dovid) Jenkins (who is the head of the OU for Winnipeg),” Benarroch says. “He has given us his seal of approval.”
Benarroch reports that the meat will be shipped into Winnipeg from Shefa Meats in Toronto in blocks, already koshered, salted and traibered (wherein major blood vessels, nerves and forbidden fats are removed). “We will be doing the processing at The Carver’s Knife, cutting the meat into different cuts, which will be vacuum packed in sealed boxes with the VKW (Winnipeg kashrut) label.
“Before each shipment from Shefa arrives, we will be cleaning and sanitizing the facility. We have brand new kosher equipment on site which will be under lock and key in a special cupboard with only the mashgiach having a key.”
Miller’s Meat Market has set aside a cooler exclusively for kosher meat. “We want to make sure that we are doing everything properly,” says Miller’s owner Mike DeGagne. “We don’t want to offend anybody.”
Winnipeg has been without fresh kosher meat since Omnitsky Kosher Foods, our community’s last kosher butcher closed, in 2008. The butcher shop had lost its hechsher a couple of years earlier.
ACME Poultry, Winnipeg’s last kosher poultry operation, closed at the end of 1997.
Over the years, community members have tried – unsuccessfully - to re-introduce fresh kosher meat here. The Carver’s Knife’s owner, Calvin Vaags, had been involved in those efforts. Vaags is originally a cattle man who opened the Carver’s Knife, a retail meat store and wholesale beef distribution company in Winnipeg in 2004. He is also the president of True North Foods, Manitoba’s only federally-certified beef processing facility, which is located just outside Carman.
The initiative for this latest – successful – effort to provide our community with fresh kosher beef came from one Yossi Saadon. Benarroch reports that the Israeli-born Saadon is in the kosher meat business in Miami and saw opportunity here.
“We had been going back and forth on this with Yossi (Saadon) for the past few months,” Benarroch says. “We considered a number of scenarios including local Shechita. “The option with bringing Shefa meat in and processing it here seemed to be the most doable.”
Benarroch reports that the VWK is also looking for a North Winnipeg meat market to carry the fresh kosher merchandise. He says that pricing will be competitive with the frozen kosher meat available in a number of locations in the city.
And he encourages readers with any questions about fresh kosher meat in Winnipeg to phone either himself at 204.583.2655 or Joseph (Yossi) Saadon in Miami at 305.216.4553.