The first NWT-produced eggs to be sold in NWT stores in more than a decade are finally available.
The eggs come from the territory’s only egg producer, Hay River Poultry Farms Ltd., and are sold under the Polar Egg brand. The company operates out of a new grading facility in Hay River’s industrial area.
The company’s sales and marketing consultant, Kevin Wallington, said the eggs have been on NorthMart shelves since Dec. 19. On Dec. 20, they were busy preparing orders for other local stores, packing cartons of 12 and 18 eggs.
“We delivered about 1,500 eggs to NorthMart this week and probably another 10,000 to Super A Foods,” Wallington said. Other stores such as the Ehdah Cho store on the Reserve will also sell the eggs.
“There will be somewhere in the range of 40,000 eggs on the market this week,” he added, saying a large order was made for various Yellowknife stores as well.
Flora Bocat, in charge of dairy at the NorthMart, said the eggs started flying off the shelves almost as soon as they were placed there on Dec. 19.
“I was so happy to tell people we had them,” she said.
The deliveries are right on schedule for Polar Egg. At the egg grading facility’s opening on Oct. 26, Wallington said he hoped to have eggs on shelves and in restaurants by December.
Wallington personally delivered some eggs to people in Yellowknife a few weeks ago, which led to pictures appearing on social media and causing some to believe the eggs were already available in stores.
With these large orders sent out, Wallington said the company would now probably wait until Jan. 7 to get back to business and start crating orders for Jan. 14.
Beyond Hay River and Yellowknife, he hopes to send eggs to Fort Smith, Fort Simpson, Fort Providence and a variety of restaurants across the territory.
“We might have to start looking at automatic egg packers soon,” he said, explaining that it would be easier and quicker to pack the large volume of eggs they grade.
The machines they use can grade close to 1,500 dozen eggs per hour.
“The machines are running great, we’re starting to get the hang of them, and we’ve been dealing with some humidity issues but everything is going really well,” he said.
The facility employs six people.
An 18-egg carton of Polar Brand eggs are selling in Hay River for $3.99 compared to $4.29 for a southern brand and a 12-egg carton of polar eggs sells for $2.99 compared $3.15 and up.
— Myles Dolphin