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King Cole: High Care Ontario Duck


Let's talk duck. Delicious in flavor and high in nutrients, duck has proven to be the new standard in savory poultry options. Rich, meaty and lean with a robust flavour that screams comfort food on a chilly day, duck is the perfect feature on Fall/Winter menus, pairing beautifully with other seasonal flavours like rosemary, thyme, nutmeg, cinnamon and maple.

We know that when you're sourcing ingredients, the who, what, where, why and how behind them matters. We want to take you behind the scense to learn a little more about where we source our local Ontario duck products from, what makes their farm, farming practices, and products so special, and to understand exactly what and who you're supporting when you purchase King Cole duck products.


KING COLE: Family-owned & operated

King Cole has been farming ducks for over 70 years in Stouffville, Ontario, just an hour north of Toronto. King Cole was founded by Jim Murby and his son Bob in 1951 when they purchased a farm on the outskirts of Aurora. Jim and Bob quickly recognized that there was no one farming duck locally, and there was an opportunity in to fill this gap. 

Since then, King Cole's duck business has grown from a few ducks sold in North York farmer's markets to a business that serves duck and duck products to chefs across the country. King Cole ducks are now grown on 22 farms just north of Toronto on over 1000 acres of land where crops, fertilized with duck compost, are also grown to help enhance our local food supply. The business remains family-owned and operated with Jim's four granddaughters, Robin Kelly, Debbi Conzelmann, Patti Thompson, and Jackie Fisher, 3rd generation duck farmers, at the helm of the operation. 

Along with their dedicated staff of 180, King Cole works 7 days a week to serve restaurant and retail customers high quality, high care duck products.

Robin Kelly, Debbi Conzelmann, Patti Thompson, and Jackie Fisher


King Cole Duck Products

King Cole produces whole ducks and a variety of traditional duck cuts including duck breast, wings, legs, as well as products that make serving duck both profitable and successful for chefs. Products like smoked duck breast and duck confit add a “helping hand” in today’s over-stressed kitchens by providing clean label products that save time and labour yet can be elevated and used by a chef in their own signature creation.

King Cole raises two strains of Pekin ducks, each with unique properties. Their European strain has heavy breast meat that gives chefs an opportunity to serve a “duck steak” (medium rare), allowing consumers the experience of a tenderloin but with the rich flavour and crisp of duck.

Their Heritage strain on the other hand is a fatty Pekin head and feet-on duck that is specially sought after by traditional BBQ and Peking duck restaurants. Its heavy fat cap allows chefs to create a crispy duck skin and with slivers of very rich duck meat in the most traditional way.

The result is a great quality duck products that are prepared for chefs with special attention to good value. For example, all ducks breasts are hand trimmed so that there is no waste (money or product!) for their customers.   

King Cole Duck Breast


King Cole's Commitment to Sustainability

King Cole is a vertically integrated farm, which means that they breed, hatch, raise, process and even further process their duck and duck parts. By controlling all levels of production, King Cole is able to ensure that every part of the duck from their boneless duck breasts to their feathers, which are used for pillows, duvets and clothing, is used and nothing goes to waste. Even their bedding from the barns (made from wood shavings) is composted into a rich soil enhancer for use in gardens and crops to complete the circle of sustainability. As King Cole says, "everything is used but the 'quack'!" 

In 2023, they will launch the Green Farm Brigade led by one of the four sisters at the head of King Cole, Robin Kelly, whose commitment to the environment focuses on recycling, reuse and staff awareness. King Cole is in the development phase for a unique and innovative aqua-wetland project that uses natural wetlands to purify water. They also offer garden plots, well fertilized with duck compost, for their staff who want to grow their own vegetables - a fun lunchtime pastime! 

KCD Main Farm View


King Cole Has a high standard for Animal Care

King Cole has long been heralded for its leadership and stewardship in the area of animal care. Ducks are raised free-run in large spacious barns with plenty of fresh air ventilation, unlimited well water, natural feed, are raised without antibiotics or hormones, and most importantly, live a stress-free life. They are cared for by King Cole farm managers who have been extremely well-trained in animal welfare and good farming practices to ensure that each flock and every duck has a high level of attention and care. King Cole is the only duck producer in Canada with third party animal welfare certification in addition to Global Food Safety accreditation. These certifications demonstrate levels of excellence at every stage of King Cole’s practices.

King Cole ducks are also raised in-doors to protect their flocks from wild animals and disease. The recent outbreak of Avian flu is a great example of the importance of implementing practices to protect flocks as best as possible to keep them healthy and safe.  



We asked King Cole what they want chefs to know they're supporting when they purchase their duck products and this is what they shared with us:

"Supporting LOCAL matters and is deeply appreciated by those in our local agricultural community.

A King Cole purchase means you are supporting Joanne and her family who live on the farm and work in the hatchery. It means you're supporting Juan whose commute is long but his commitment of 35 years at King Cole is even longer. It means supporting Mark and the maintenance team whose talents keep King Cole running 7 days a week. It means you're supporting your neighbours and your customers. You're supporting a company that has animal welfare program, is environmentally focused, and who have staff whose combined experience totals 1967 years of duck farming expertise.

As a local supplier, we return the favor by giving priority to customers in our own backyard."

Boneless Steak (cooked) on board



Avian Influenzas damaged the duck industry for the first time in King Cole's 72 years. Like Covid, bird flu is a virus that continues to change; it won’t disappear but King Cole's staff are on high alert during migratory bird season (the virus is spread by wild birds) and have strong biosecurity programs to protect their flocks. 

They no longer have “all their eggs in one basket” – they have expanded their farm locations in a wider geographic circle so that if ever one farm is impacted, the supply will be protected with production from other farms.

They are very concerned about protecting their flocks and farms BUT also the livelihoods of all the people and the customers who count on King Cole for a living.

We are in regular communication with the team at King Cole and they have told us they are currently at 50% of production from where we were pre the Avian Influenza outbreak but anticipate they should be back to 80% by January and fully recovered mid-2023. 

That being said, King Cole has assured us that they are committed to filling orders throughout their recovery to us and and other local suppliers so you can rest assured that we should have no problem fulfilling all your duck orders!


Interested In SAMPLING King Cole Duck Products FOR YOUR MENU?

Let us know! Browse our King Cole duck products and reach out to your sales rep at to let us know what King Cole duck products you'd like to sample. 

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