About Us

Max Meats has been a family owned business in Toronto since 1955, serving Ontario with the finest meats and European style deli products. We honour our traditional European recipes by using only the best locally sourced proteins. We are a dedicated processing plant preparing value added products for your store.

Max Meats has been a family owned business in Toronto since 1955, serving Ontario with the finest meats and European style deli products. We honour our traditional European recipes by using only the best locally sourced proteins. We are a dedicated processing plant preparing value added products for your store.





New thermoforming equipment enables upscale deli meats processor to boost its packaging efficiency and play up the company’s branding message


Some corporate names are just too good to change, and when your brand name is Max Meats, why would anyone ever want to mess up a good thing like that?

Founded in 1955 by Max Mayer and nowadays jointly owned by company president Karl Ulrich and production manager Eddie Wong, Toronto-based Max Meat Ltd. boasts a highly esteemed track record as a reliable local supplier of high-quality deli meats for a multitude of high-end butcher shops und upscale grocery retailers in the southern Ontario markets, including the iconic St. Lawrence Market in downtown Toronto.

“When my dad, Fred Ulrich, bought the business back in 1978, he was just too busy in the early days to even consider a name change,” Karl Ulrich told Canadian Packaging on a recent visit to the company’s lively 5,300-square-foot meat processing facility tucked away in an industrial business complex in northern Toronto. “And after he realized that the Max Meats brand name carried quite a lot of cachet within the Ontario meats processing markets, earned through many years of providing high-quality product offerings, it didn’t really matter.”

By the time Karl Ulrich took over the company management reins in 2000, Max Meat was already well on its way to expanding and diversifying its product portfolio with a growing range of Old World-inspired meat products for a highly appreciative customer base. “After my dad took over the company, we continued to produce the cooked and smoked meats, Black Forest ham, deli products and sausages, that we still produce to this day,” Ulrich relates.

“But there was also a big effort to increase our market share and our customer base, by increasing the variety of products we offer,” says Ulrich, noting the 10-employee company manages to produce over 200 SKU (stock-keeping units) of gourmet-quality fresh and processed beef, pork and turkey products.

Karl Ulrich, one half of the dynamic duo operating Max Meat in Toronto, has moved the company into the higher echelon of quality meat producers in Ontario by selling the company’s gourmet-quality wares to high-end butchers, rather than retail.

Installed at Max Meat in August of 2017, the R126 thermoformer machine from Multivac has enabled the meat processor to vastly improve its overall packaging line efficiency.

Gourmet-quality smoked pork chops produced by Max Meat to be packaged inside and sealed by its Multivac R126 thermoformer.




Only a few months after its installation, the Multivac R126 thermoformer handles 70 per cent of the company’s packaging requirements, with the HMI (human-machine interface) providing user-friendly operation for Max Meat employees.

The smoked porkchop products packaged and sealed by the Multivac R126 thermoforming machine offer significantly extended shelf-life.

Just in the sausage category alone, Max Meat produces about 40 different varieties of meat sticks, kielbasa rolls, meat loafs, pepperoni, etc.—all smoked, roasted, oven-roasted or barbequed to virtual perfection, doing due justice to many beloved authentic recipes passed through generations.

In a similar vein, the company’s richly diverse offering of no less than 11 different types of Max Meats bacon—including Regular Bacon, Black Bacon, Beef Bacon, Canadian Back Bacon, Apple Flavoured Bacon, Cooked Cornmeal Bacon, English Bacon, Maple Flavoured Bacon, Rib out Bacon, Rind off Bacon, Smoked Bacon Wrapped Loin and Sweet Pickled Back in Cornmeal—speaks volumes about the company’s knack for product innovation and culinary flair. “We specialize in offering smoked, high-end, gourmet-quality meat products that follow the Old World traditions,” Ulrich explains, “but are also different enough to stand out from the crowd, and to have established their own keen following in the market.”

Says Ulrich: “People in the know really respect the high quality of the many specialty products we can provide—true taste sensations appreciated by the at-tuned palate.” Naturally, the company is very selective in the quality of raw meats it processes, Ulrich points out, opting for high-grade select meats raised in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and some nearby U.S. states.

As he relates, the raw meat cuts are chosen on the basis of strict criteria that evaluates critical factors such as maturity, gender, muscle conformation, fat color, texture and marbling, among others. “We sell our products as a gourmet product, so we make sure it comes from high-quality meat sources,” says Ulrich.

While the company’s modest size and production capacity currently prevent it from serving mass retail and supermarket chains for time being, Ulrich says he is happy with its current business model of supplying packaged meat products, bearing the Max Meats logo and banner, directly to high-end butcher outlets, including several vendors at the St. Lawrence Market, and smaller fine-foods outlets and deli outlets.

“Moving our product to a retail chain might be a thing for Max Meat down the road,” he acknowledges, “but right now we are content in growing our niche mom-and-pop style market segment, where we have full control over our high-end meats.

“Quite often, the butcher will simply take our packaged meat, slit it open, throw away the packaging and place the meat product for sale within their refrigerated display cases,” Ulrich relates. “So even at the high-end butchers we sell our meat to, the consumer may or may not see our branded meat products. “Although that might seem like a waste of packaging, we still take great pride in how each product looks when it leaves our facility,” says Ulrich, citing the company’s recent purchase of the Multivac R126 thermoforming machine from the Brampton, Ont.-based food packaging equipment specialists Multivac Canada Inc.

Installed last August, the new R126 machine was brought in to not only improve the plant’s packaging line efficiency, according to Ulrich, but also to provide a higher-end look to the branded packaging—good enough to be left intact in the display areas or the shops for consumers to have a good look. “Prior to purchasing the R126 thermoform machine we were exclusively a vacuum chamber technology end-user,” Ulrich relates. “And there is nothing wrong with vacuum chamber technology: we still use it for many larger products like whole hams, meat loaves and turkey portions. “However, we had to do something to increase our line speeds,” he says. “With our production volumes and market demand growing, the 30 seconds or so that it takes to seal a product using vacuum chamber technology was not quick enough for us.

“But with the Multivac R126 in place, we are now able to seal some 20 units or more within that same 30-second time-frame,” Ulrich extols, noting that the new Multivac thermoformer requires only one machine operator to run it, compared to three workers needed to look after all aspects of the vacuum-chamber system.

“The Multivac R126 has allowed us to move workers to other areas of pro-duction to make us even more efficient,” says Ulrich, noting the new Multivac’s




arrival has virtually eliminated the frequent bottleneck encountered in the plant’s packaging area previously.

“Thanks to the R126, which is now handling 70 per cent of all our packaging requirements, we no longer have a bottleneck in our production line,” says Ulrich, adding the plant typically packs about 1,500 units a day using both systems.

“Whereas it would previously take all day to do 1,500 packs, it now only takes a few hours, with reduced labour requirements,” he states. “Moreover, there’s less of a rush on the vacuum chamber production line now, making it a total win-win.”

According to Ulrich, Max Meat carefully evaluated three potential suppliers to deliver a thermoforming machine before ultimately settling on Multivac’s robust made-in-Germany technology. “My decision to go with the Multivac was primarily based upon their deep technical support and their exceptional service levels,” says Ulrich, noting that Multivac Canada also supplies Max Meat with all its thermoforming film requirements.

Multivac also supplies the film used in the R126 thermoform machine.
“Along with only having to deal just with Multivac, there’s been an additional bonus,” he hints. “With the film, the vacuum and seal Multivac R126 creates and enhances the over all shelflife of our products.”

Says Ulrich: “I did a lot of due diligence by talking with some other food processing and packaging companies, and they all said that the Multivac equipment is great. “And so far it has worked like a charm… fantastic even,” Ulrich enthuses. “I never realized it could be as efficient as it has been,” he says, also crediting Multivac for developing just the right kind of a die to handle all the different products made at Max Meat.

“The R126 fits well within our space requirements,” he says, “and seeing how easily it has been able to handle the vast majority of our differently-shaped product makes me very happy.”

Although Ulrich admits there was some initial reluctance among employees to change their packaging routines and procedures, “We are all humming along quite nicely now.”

Other equipment utilized at Max Meat, includes:

• a Pronto! 482 high-speed color label printer from QuickLabel Systems capable of printing up to 10 ips (inches per second);
• a Handtmann VF 608 vacuum-filler sausage stuffer system;
• Sipromac vacuum chamber machines;
• solid plastic Uline holding trays for finished goods.

While Max Meat currently does enough business to maintain a steady, one-shift weekly schedule, Ulrich says that having the installed high-performance thermoform packaging machinery can position the company to introduce its Max Meats line of product to the larger mass retail marketplace down the road. But only when the time is right, Ulrich insists. “It’s just not a huge priority right now, however,” Ulrich asserts. “At the moment I’m looking to continue growing my customer base of high-end butchers, and I believe the Multivac R126 thermoform machine will be of great assistance in helping us achieve that goal.
“There are still many pockets within the Toronto area, for example, where butcher shops exist and thrive,” he says, “and the number of communities adding high-end butcher shops appears to be growing, as more people are looking for that old-fashioned feel of purchasing high-quality meats from a specialized butcher—rather than from nameless workers stocking shelves at a grocery store.

“Consumers may love a bargain, but they also love quality and, above all, superior service.” 

A sampling of meat products packed by the Multivac R126 thermoform packaging machine provides the meat processor with a high-quality look befitting its high-quality product.

Max Meat utilizes solid plastic Uline trays and movable carts for moving the loads of finished products inside the plant.

Hundreds of smoked Hungarian csabai sausages await their turn to be packaged on the Multivac R126 thermoform packaging system recently installed at the Max Meat facility in Toronto.