Richard John Lucas

Section 6, Lot 1449
Pine Hills Cemetery

Richard Lucas was born in Toronto in 1902. At the age of six he started delivering groceries from his parents’ general store on Gerrard Street East. In 1920 he entered the meat packing business, using a horse-drawn wagon to sell the products of George Cridland meat packing company on Coxwell Avenue.  He married for the first time that year, and he and his wife Isobel (who died in 1974) subsequently had five children. Lucas later joined the Fuller company located on Carlaw Avenue. He rose to general manager before buying the firm at the beginning of the Second World War.  In the test kitchen of his plant, Lucas developed the sugared ham, which had his competitors jumping through hoops trying to figure out the process. Overcoming the salty taste of hams, it was such a superior product people were willing to pay extra for it. Lucas sent his salesmen out garbed in white lab coats, ties and Stetson Hats.  His logo was a small pig named Pinky, which held a sign reading “R. J. Lucas, Selected Sugar Packed Hams.”  His Carlaw Avenue plant was decked out in Canadian flags, and he mounted six-foot high statues of Pinky at each end. R. J. Lucas, the man who put sugared hams on Canadian dinner tables, died at his winter home in Clearwater, Florida on April 13, 1987 at the age of 84.

 Story Archives »