128 Years at the Chopping Block
In 1887, two centuries after the Haines family emigrated from England, they opened
the Haines Pork Shop, a family business still going strong. By Susan Cousins Breen
The wood floors once covered with
sawdust are now tiled. Electricity once
generated by a windmill out back now
comes from the grid. People no longer
bring empty laundry baskets to the
Haines Pork Shop at 521 Kings Highway
in Mickleton, but they still come—from
all over Gloucester County, Philadelphia,
Cherry Hill, even Ocean City—to buy
Haines’s high-quality meats.
Wait. Laundry baskets?
Yes. Around 1900, when Jeremiah
Haines and his son T. Edgar built the
whitewashed wooden shed that still
houses the family business, local farm-
ers would bring laundry baskets and
boxes to be lined with butcher paper
and filled with the bacon, ham, chops
and roasts the Haineses made from the
pigs the farmers had raised.
In 1900, the Haines Pork Shop was
just 13 years old, but T. Edgar was
already an eighth-generation Jerseyan.
His family, English farmers, had settled
in Burlington in 1682, where they resumed farming and flourished.
Fast-forward nearly two centuries. In
1865, 34-year-old Rachel Iredell moves
to Mickleton. She marries farmer Samuel
Haines, of the sixth generation. In 1881,
Samuel dies of cancer at age 54. Rachel
is left to raise their eight children.
Rachel had always made sausage,
scrapple, bacon and ham for family
and friends. But in 1887, six years after
Samuel’s death, she began selling these
products to make ends meet.
Jeremiah, the seventh of Rachel’s
brood, took up the cleaver, eventually
passing it to T. Edgar, who passed it to his
son, J. Ellison Haines Sr., who passed it to
his son, J. Ellison “Jerry” Haines Jr.
Haines men had always been
full-time vegetable farmers. Accord-
ingly, the pork shop, when it finally
came about, was strictly a November-
through-March sideline—a practicality in
the days before electric refrigeration.
Jerry, the first Haines never to be
a farmer, joined his father, J. Ellison,
in the business in 1974. A year later,
J. Ellison relaxed the foundational
pork-only policy and began selling
fresh-killed local turkeys at Thanks-
Lascio, who live
in Mantua, shop
(and taste) with
GENERATION 11: Owners
Meg Haines Sheldon and her
husband, Harry Sheldon.